SCHOOL CLOSINGS AND DELAYS

Non-profit gives West Michigan boy gift of mobility

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. --A West Michigan non-profit is paying it forward to a family in need.

Alternatives in Motion donated a wheelchair to 4-year-old Luke, of Zeeland , who is unable to walk or sit upright, giving him his independence back.

"Luke was 9-weeks old when we got the call from our foster care agency and they said we have this medically fragile baby at Helen DeVos, would you be willing to foster him?" his foster mother Dee explained.

"So we cared for him for two weeks along with the hospital in pediatric ICU there and at 11-weeks brought him into our home and he has been with us ever since," she said.

Luke has a traumatic brain injury and cerebral palsy, forcing him to use a feeding tube for liquids and his medications.

"It has been amazing for our family Luke spends a lot of time on the floor because he is not an independent walker so for him to be in this new wheelchair given to us has made him very independent," Worley said.

Worley ended up adopting Luke and says she has tried to get him a wheelchair through insurance but has had no luck.

A friend told her about the local non-profit, Alternatives in Motion, which helps people right here in West Michigan with mobility devices if insurance companies won't cover the costs.

The Grand Rapids-based non-profit ended up giving Luke a brand new wheelchair for him to use in school and at home, giving little Luke what his foster mother says is a whole new perspective on life.

"He is able to see things for the first time from a whole new perspective. Imagine living your life rolling around on the floor which is his favorite place to be but at the same time now he is upright like the rest of us and he can see the world and navigate," Worley said.

"I think for him it has made him feel more independent, he can get through our home, he can get through school without rolling on the floor," Worley said.

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