Donations Help Orange County Family Buy Outdoor Wheelchair
An Orange County family is celebrating their son's new-found freedom. Donations helped the Blevins buy their son an outdoor wheelchair.
ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - An Orange County family is celebrating their son's new-found freedom.
NBC29 first introduced you to Jesse Blevins and his family in August when they started a GoFundMe page to raise money to buy Jesse an outdoor wheelchair.
Thanks to the community's support, their lives are forever changed.
Fifteen-year-old Jesse was born with genetic brittle bone disease, confining him to a wheelchair. His love of the outdoors often lead to his parents having to push and pull Jesse along trails in his wheelchair or in a wagon.
Now, a track chair is giving him independence he didn't know existed.
“It's something we've never been able to experience before, just to walk through the woods with our children and not look back and go, ‘wait a minute, I got to go back and get Jesse,’" said Kevin and Virginia Blevins.
Thanks to donations, the Blevins were able to purchase a $16,000 track chair.
"It just absolutely touched us that people would give to us, people that they don't even know," the father said. “It's given [Jesse] independence and freedom, but it's given us independence and freedom as well to be able to take a deep breath and just enjoy watching."
Since Jesse got his track chair, he's experienced several outdoor firsts: his first paintball game, his first time feeding his pets without help, and his first stroll along the beach.
"The first time he got onto the sand, and went across the sand in that track chair, it was just unbelievable. We cried, we thanked God for all the people that donated," said Kevin.
"We just are so thankful… the gratitude… I don't have words to say. Thank you," Virginia said.
The Blevins have always been strong in their faith, but say this experience reminded them of the good in the world.
The GoFundMe page also helped raise enough money for the family to purchase a shed to store the track chair. A family friend is helping the Blevins build a ramp and run electricity to the shed, so they can charge the track chair, and Jesse can access it whenever he wants.