A Worthy Cause for Jaden Corbin

by | Feb 8, 2021 | Education, Online Exclusives, Pender County

An online fundraiser has been started for Jaden Corbin, a Pender County student who has cerebral palsy and needs help getting a vehicle that can accommodate his electric wheelchair.

Caught in a cycle of needing a vehicle that can be adapted for an electric wheelchair, a wheelchair that can only be provided if there is an appropriate vehicle to accommodate it, a local high school student is looking to the community for a little help.

Jaden Corbin, a Pender County student, has cerebral palsy. Although he currently has a manual wheelchair, he is now in need of an electric wheelchair. He has a way to get the wheelchair but needs an appropriate vehicle for transporting it. And the cycle continues.

Kali Sanders, an exceptional children (EC) teacher in Pender County has worked with Jaden and his family for the past five years. She notes that Jaden, who will soon be 19 years old, looks forward to being more independent with the electric wheelchair and the adapted vehicle so he can roll in and out, rather than having to be assisted with transferring between the wheelchair and the vehicle seat.

Jaden Corbin Pender County Student

Cerebral palsy affects an individual’s ability to move and to maintain balance and posture.

The condition is caused by abnormal brain development or by damage to the developing brain that affects a person’s ability to control his or her muscles. Although the symptoms can vary, in Jaden’s case it means he needs a wheelchair to get around.

Jaden lives with his mother and two siblings. His mother works “as many hours as she can,” Sanders says, but it is still difficult for the family financially. They have created a GoFundMe account (https://gofund.me/609c9a8e) hoping to be able to purchase a vehicle that will qualify for adaptations so that Jaden can get the electric wheelchair he needs.

The state of North Carolina provides some services under its Community Alternatives Program for Children (CAP/C). The N.C. service is available to people with physical handicaps to assist them in modifying their homes so they can access their homes easier when they have a wheelchair or physical handicap. It also covers vehicle modifications.

Jaden will be able to get the wheelchair and have the modifications done to the vehicle through this program, once his family is able to purchase the vehicle. However, there are certain requirements that have to be met in terms of the age and mileage of the vehicle. For example, it cannot be more than 10 years old.

The family feels that a minivan would work best, since the approved vehicle adaptations would involve removing the back seats to make room for the wheelchair.

Jaden’s mother says it has not been easy to get any of the services approved, but she is eager to have the necessary funds to purchase the vehicle, since he cannot get his wheelchair until they have the appropriate vehicle.

Jaden cannot walk or speak and his condition is expected to decline as he gets older. His desire to be more independent is expected to increase, though, just like any other teenager. He wants to be as independent as possible, not having to rely on someone to transfer him physically from his manual wheelchair into the seat of a vehicle so he can travel to school and to interact with his peers.

Sanders is assisting the family in their fundraising efforts by getting the word out to the community. She has been teaching severe, profound kids for seven years and says she has never seen this kind of catch-22 in terms of needing one type of equipment to get another and vice versa. If the family were able to purchase a vehicle on their own, she says, Jaden would have his electric wheelchair and would be able to move about more independently now.

Can you help?

Jaden and his family need the community’s help. Contact Kali Sanders at kali_sanders@pender.k12.nc.us or by phone at (910) 685-3456 to learn more about how to support Jaden’s efforts to secure an electric wheelchair, to purchase the vehicle necessary to accommodate it and along the way, enjoy an increased sense of independence. The link to the online fundraiser is here https://gofund.me/609c9a8e

About the author

Pat Fontana

Pat Fontana

I am a business writer and communications workshop leader. My business, WordsWorking, and my recently published book, Talk to Me Like I’m a Human, focus on improving workplace communications, concentrating on the fundamentals of human interactions. I developed, write about and train on the concept of REAL Communications, encouraging others to communicate with Respect and Empathy, paying close Attention and Listening with intent. I can be reached at pat@words-working.net.