WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — CPRF, a Wichita non-profit, helps people with disabilities find employment and independence.
They do that, in part, by designing custom wheelchairs through their Wheelchair and Posture Seating Clinic.
For one of their clients, a little too young for entire sentences, it’s the smile on his face that shows what freedom through mobility means.
Jackson is just like every other almost two-year-old.
Full of giggles, mischief, he also has osteogenesis imperfecta, which causes brittle bones.
“Specifically, the brittle bones cause him more fractures from just really, not a lot of movement or anything,” said Abby Storey, Jackon’s Mother.
“He’s gotten better as he’s gotten older, but it’s definitely going to affect him lifelong.”
Abby says they’ve known about his condition since he was in utero.
“We knew he would need a chair. I wanted him to have one sooner than later because of the independence and the mobility,” said Abby.
Abby and her husband connected with other parents in the OI community, getting an idea of what Jackson’s chair would need.
“We needed something smaller; we needed something that he could push easily,” explained Abby. “There’s nothing out there right now that really does that for his size and then for his needs specifically.”
Jackson’s family was referred to CPRF. The team took their ideas and brought them to life.
All of the chairs are custom designed for each client. For example, the wheels on Jackon’s chair are angled, allowing his arms to reach better and for him to get around easier.
Video capturing Jackson’s first time in his chair proves that for a toddler, it doesn’t matter how they take their first solo movements forward, once they go, they’re gone.
“It makes me really happy that he can get in it and move around and get in trouble just like any other almost-two-year-old his age and hang out with his sister who’s older and keep up with her,” said Abby.
Those designing these chairs know how important it is to get it right.
“Wheelchairs are more like your legs and so when the wheelchairs aren’t working correctly, and they don’t provide the mobility and accessibility that our clients need, then nothing is right,” said David Kemp, vice president of technical services at CPRF, also an occupational therapist.
Now the focus isn’t on helping Jackson with mobility but keeping up with him.
CPRF says the big ask for them are donations, equipment donations, including wheelchairs also monetary donations to keep their wheelchair and posture seating clinic running. Their equipment fund helps to pay for items such as power wheelchairs, van lifts, ramps and other items that may not be covered through insurance.