Wheelchairs 4 Kids Presents New Wheelchair to 8-Year-Old Boy with Cancer
Thanks to Resurgens Charitable Foundation
Griffin, GA – On May 14, Wheelchairs 4 Kids presented a brand new wheelchair to 8-year-old Nolan Blake at Lake Dundee Park. Mayor Joanne Todd of Griffin presented 2 proclamations, one to Nolan and one to Wheelchairs 4 Kids.
Nolan was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, in October 2009. He endured brain surgery, chemo and radiation. He went into remission, but sadly the cancer returned in March 2011. He is now in treatment again. The cancer has taken a toll on his young body and Nolan has balance problems and easily fatigues. He is also on a feeding tube. You can read more about Nolan on our website at http://wheelchairs4kids.org/?page_id=24. Be sure to read the letter from his mom.
Nolan was using a borrowed chair that was about 2 sizes too small for him. It was extremely uncomfortable and unsafe. Medicaid had sent a stroller previously but it did not meet Nolan’s needs. Unfortunately, Medicaid was not able to replace the chair for 3 more years! Wheelchairs 4 Kids heard about Nolan’s situation and immediately reached out to his mom. After listening to her explain Nolan’s needs and getting all of Nolan’s measurements, Wheelchairs 4 Kids started working toward getting Nolan his perfect chair – one that was custom made for his current situation with a growth kit that will allow the chair to “grow” with him. Of course it is in his favorite color, “slime green”, which just happens to be the color of his favorite NASCAR team– The AFLAC car driven by current points leader, Carl Edwards! It also has casters that light up when he rolls the chair! Wheelchairs 4 Kids Executive Director Madeline Robinson stated, “…that it’s important to listen and to get it right. Kids like Nolan spend a lot of time in their chairs. The least we can do is ensure that they are adequate to meet their needs and we also think it’s important to incorporate a little fun and personality into the chair as well. Nolan won’t be hard to find in that chair!”
The event at Dundee Lake Park was highlighted by the presentation of Nolan’s new chair and Mayor Todd honoring Nolan with a proclamation recognizing his strength and determination in his battle against cancer. The party carried on with music provided by Steve from Party Tunezz and radio personality, Bill Bailey of 92.5 The Bear. Wal-Mart generously donated the refreshments. The wheelchair chair was sponsored by the Resurgens Charitable Foundation based in Atlanta.
When asked about the new chair, Nolan’s response was, “”It’s perfect! It’s my favorite colors, It’s so comfortable and the wheels glow up!” His mom, Brittany Blake stated, “I’ve never seen Nolan so happy. Thank you, thank you for doing this for him!” “The difference this (Wheelchairs 4 Kids) is going to make in the life of many families is amazing!”
Many children in the United States faced with mobility challenges are in wheelchairs that are too small, in disrepair, or do not fit the needs of the child. In addition, families are faced with trying to care for their special needs child in homes that have not been modified to fit their requirements. Imagine trying to lift your teenager in and out of bed or a bathtub without assistive devices or a modified bathroom. Picture a child in a home where they can’t get upstairs. Children outgrow their wheelchairs before government or insurance programs will allow for a replacement.
Wheelchairs 4 Kids is a grassroots non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of children who have mobility challenges by providing safe and appropriate mobility aids such as wheelchairs, ramps, home and vehicle modifications as well as other adaptive devices.
Wheelchairs 4 Kids would like to thank Spalding County Parks and Recreation Dept, Mayor Todd, Bailey AVP, Party Tunezz, Walmart, and Hilton Garden Inn – McDonough. Special thanks to Resurgens Charitable Foundation. If you know of a child that may be in need of Wheelchairs 4 Kids services or if you would like to help, please call 727-946-0963 or visit www.wheelchairs4kids.org.
Please take a moment to read a letter Nolan’s mom sent along with the application.
Wheelchairs 4 kids, Thank you so much for this opportunity! I thought I would give you a brief story of Nolan, his diagnosis and problems with his wheelchair. Nolan was diagnosed October 8,2009 with a pediatric form of brain cancer called “anaplastic Medulloblastoma”. He had a tumor in his brain, two in his spine and a spread of cancer down his spine and throughout his brain. To treat this Nolan had to have the largest tumor resected followed by radiation and chemo. Nolan’s brain surgery left him with Ataxia, balance problems and having to re-learn to walk. He also suffered from neuropathy from one of the chemo agents used to kill the cancer cells which only complicated his ability to re-learn how to walk. Nolan ended up having 30 rounds of radiation and 14 months of chemotherapy. His treatment was considered a success until we found out through a routineMRI that he had relapsed in the brain and spine only two months after completing treatment. This was heartbreaking! So Nolan has begun chemo again. He gets an infusion of two different chemo’s every other week and takes an oral chemo at home. Unfortunately this just adds to his fatigue and eating problems. We won’t find out how well this new chemo is working until his MRI in June. To go back to the rehab days right after surgery. I had no idea the surgery would leave Nolan unable to walk. It was so hard watching him have to relearn everything. His left side was worse than his right. He didn’t have good control or coordination on the left side of his body. After two weeks of rehab they sent him home in a rental wheelchair. We really thought the chair would be temporary. Nolan’s tough! It will all get better in time. It did, but Nolan will never be able to walk or run like other kids his age. He still deals with balance problems, falls, gait problems and is currently in OT, PT, speech and wears braces called SMO’s. We used his rental chair till it was literally faIling apartl Italked with his therapist about Nolan’s chair problems, expressing Nolan still can’t walk long distances without the assistance of a wheelchair. So she ordered a chair we had discussed. I really didn’t know what I was doing. If I knew what I know now I would have done things so differently , but after all was said and done we ended up with a large stroller type of chair (brand and name removed). We were so disappointed. It didn’t fit Nolan’s needs at all. Nolan lost his ability to be independent. I liked the fact that with a manual wheelchair he could push or I could push him when he was tired. A regular wheelchair is closer to the ground which makes getting in and out easier. The mighty lite is high off the ground and hard to manage for him. I know this stroller would be wonderful for some kids, but it‘s not what works for Nolan’s special needs. We ended up getting a loner ti-lite, but it’s about two sizes to small and Nolan is so uncomfortable in it. I was so upset I called the wheelchair company and they stated they don’t take returns and he would have to wait a minimum of three years before Medicaid would pay for another. I was so upset. we had run into so many problems and every where I turned it seemed to be another dead end until Lora e-mailed me. It was like an answer to our prayers! We don’t know what the future holds for Nolan. Right now he has cancer in his brain and spine and a painful condition of the spine called Arachnoiditis, severe bi-lateral hearing loss (wears hearing aids), feeding problems (has a g-tube), but there’s nothing about cancer that can take away his wonderful attitude and his determination to get better.. He has overcome so many obstacles and I know it’s from his ability to never give up! This wheelchair will help him be able to go everywhere without the worry of pain and fatigue. I can’t thank you enough! The difference this is going to make in the life of many families is amazing! Brittany (Nolan’s Mom)
“You will find, as you look back on your life, that the moments that stand out
are the moments when you have done things for others.” – Henry Drummond