SUMNER — “I made a promise. It was time to come good,” Maureen “Mo” Libby wrote on her shared living provider application for the state when she decided to bring her wheelchair-using and mostly nonverbal son, Chad, home.

Before the two could live together again in the three-story barn-turned-home on Butterfield Road in Sumner, Libby had to secure a handicapped-accessible van so she could transport Chad to his day program, doctors’ appointments and other outings. So she looked on Craigslist for the first time.

That’s how she found a 2008 Toyota Sienna van in Old Orchard Beach. It has a magic wand pointer which, when tapped to the rear taillight, opens the door, shifts the van to the ground and pops out the ramp. The woman who was selling the van — who only wanted to be identified by her first name, Magda — had the vehicle for her daughter, Rachel, who suffered from spina bifida and died unexpectedly in October 2014.

“I don’t know how I am going to do it, but I need wheels,” Libby said from the kitchen of her home Sunday afternoon. “That van (is) crucial. I think the hardest thing about having someone like Chad is getting out and getting places.”

Libby said Magda lost her caregiver job when Rachel died and was afraid the van would be repossessed.

“I will make your payments; your credit will not go bad,” Libby recalls telling Magda before picking up the van. Magda in return told Libby she never advertised on Craigslist before and Libby said she never looked there either.


“We felt it was something that was meant to be,” Libby said. “She tells me, too, ‘I know my daughter would have wanted me to help you.’ It’s funny; I feel like I’ve known her forever.”

Libby was added to Magda’s insurance and plans to purchase the van outright when she raises enough money. Hence, the reason she launched a GoFundMe campaign. As of Wednesday morning, $600 of the $20,000 goal had been raised.

“There’s a side of me that doesn’t want me to ask for help,” said Libby, who reluctantly started the campaign and hasn’t pushed it until now.

She knew more expenses were coming when she brought Chad home from Getchell Agency in Bangor at the end of October 2014. Chad has cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia, which limits the movement of his arms and legs, among a number of other health issues including diabetes and thyroid problems. He needs constant care.

Libby wants an automatic lift to help her get him and in and out of bed and his wheelchair. She’s currently using a manual one and can’t move his 150-pound body without help. She applied for a new wheelchair since she discovered her son had had an undiagnosed dislocated hip for two years and he needs a new, more comfortable chair. And she knows MaineCare won’t pay for everything.

Libby lost her alpaca farm, Sunday River Alpacas in Bethel, in a divorce about four years ago. She said she got herself in debt using her credit cards so she could retrofit the barn in anticipation of Chad living at home again.


“I decided when I was bringing him home, I was going to have everything he needed,” Libby said, adding that she spoke with Chad before making the final decision. “He was like, ‘Hell, yeah!’”

She said his caregivers in Bangor told her Chad was excited about going home. And just because Chad, who turned 27 the day after Christmas, can only physically say “hi” and “play” doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what’s going on.

“Chad’s very smart. He understands everything you say to him,” Libby said as he smiled in agreement from his wheelchair, clad in his fleece football pajamas in anticipation of the Super Bowl on Sunday.

She said that despite his physical limitations, Chad is a normal guy who loves football and racing. He particularly loves playing “Mario Kart” on the Wii and zipping around his remote control cars.

Chad makes friends wherever he goes. He has a girlfriend in Bangor and she waits by the door for him when he comes to visit.

Walking around the mall in Bangor, Libby found that people know her son by name, many calling out and waving and some stopping to chat. And he wasn’t even home a week when a friend from high school dropped by, bringing Batman costumes for the trio to wear for the day. At his new day program at Hope Association in Rumford, one of the employees told Libby she’d never heard such a loud rendition of “Happy Birthday.”


“For somebody nonverbal, it amazes me the amount of connections he has with people,” Libby said.

It’s why Libby loves being able to spend time with her son, whom she calls “a huge, huge mama’s boy.” When Chad turned 5, Libby was in her mid-20s and wasn’t able to care for him and work full time. And during that time, there was no shared living provider option. Chad first lived in Montello Manor in Lewiston.

“All I wanted to do is take care of my kid and they couldn’t help me,” Libby said. “It’s been my goal to bring him home. She wishes she’d done it sooner.

“The reason I hadn’t brought him home before this is I was scared to death the help wasn’t there,” she said.

Libby said Chad can get sick at the drop of a hat and she has almost lost him to pneumonia two or three times.

“I live every day like he could not be here tomorrow,” she said.


She has taken photos and videos of Chad and herself and posted them on her Facebook page.

Some people tell her it must be difficult being Chad’s caregiver. Libby couldn’t disagree more.

“This is what I deal with every day: laughter, happiness. He’s just a joy,” Libby said.

Chad laughed when his mother asked him what he did with her phone. “To listen to him laugh every day, to not worry … I’m in seventh heaven.”

To donate to the Libbys’ GoFundMe campaign, visit

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