Man with cerebral palsy moving south, needs support

SHELBYVILLE, Mich. -- A man with cerebral palsy known around his community for giving back is getting ready to finish school and move south to start a new chapter in a home that's completely handicap accessible.

After Tony Carpenter, 26, of Shelbyville graduates from Hillside Learning and Behavior Center later this month, he’s moving to Tennessee with his family to a home that’s handicap accessible.

"We decided [to move] because Tony is graduating and it’s extremely hard to find care," said Tony's mother Denice Pekel. "That we would go ahead with our dreams and move down to Tennessee and build a handicap accessible home, so that we can take care of him as long as we’re here."

It's a change he's looking forward to, but there's a still few important things the family needs, and they're hoping for some help.

Throughout the years, Tony’s made his way to Allegan Alternative High School to sell baked treat, raising money for Hillside Learning and Behavior Center.

Pekel said the family is so lucky to be surrounded by great people, now seeing the community help him raise money for new equipment Tony needs.

The family created a GoFundMe account for a new wheelchair that will cost around $12,000 and already half of the money needed has been made.

“It gave me a lot of hope to see that my son would be able to get a chair sooner rather than later," said Pekel. "Our chair is falling apart and insurance won’t cover it because they only cover one chair at a time and he has a power chair that gives him a lot of independence.”

The power chair will be his primary chair at their new house, but they need another one as well.

“He needs this one [a secondary chair] as well because the primary chair, the power chair, is extremely heavy, "said Pekel. "If we’re in a tight spot or in a building we may have to lift him, and we can’t do that with a 600 pound chair.”

Click here to visit Tony’s GoFundMe page.

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