The online campaign for a boy from Powhatan with muscular dystrophy, is now underway. A wheelchair-accessible van would greatly help Westley Groseclose, 10, venture to places most kids go easily- the park, the movies, visiting a friend's house, and even the supermarket with his parents. Places most children don't think twice about getting to, become excursions for Westley and his family.
Click here to vote: http://bit.ly/1iAe37h
Muscular dystrophy makes it tough for Westley to walk, and do most things, that many of us take for granted. Westley's muscles are slowing degenerating, each day.
He and his family aren't asking for money. They need online votes to help him win the wheelchair-friendly van. The special van would give Westley the ability to go places, without restraints. Currently, Westley's mother, Jessica, must carry him in and out of the car. She sometimes piggybacks her son to and from the car. Westley's daily routine involves getting physically picked up by his mom or dad, dozens of times.
"Little by little his muscles are wasting away," said Jessica Groseclose.
Westley makes his way around on his scooter. He manages to get on and off it with an ever-cheerful attitude. A typical outing involves Jessica lifting Westley into the front seat of the family vehicle, and packing in the 300-pound chair, for each trip.
"I'm very concerned about breaking (one of Westley's bones) and injuring him," continued Jessica.
Westley's steroid medicine makes his bones weak and more susceptible to injury. Jessica shudders when thinking of others with muscular dystrophy, getting hurt from frail bones.
During the last two months, Jessica says her son's condition has significantly worsened. He experiences constant migraine headaches and has lost some motor skill.
"He's losing some of the abilities, the simple things like opening your own dresser drawer," described Jessica.
However, Westley is less concerned about himself. He tells his parents that he wishes his fourth-grade shoulders could bare the struggle for everyone living with muscular dystrophy.
"I wish that (the disease) could be all in me… and not them… so they could have a regular life," said Westley.
A regular life is something Westley's parents hope to give him. The online contest would help their ongoing effort to make their son's life as normal as possible, every day. The National Mobility Awareness program will give a $50,000 wheelchair-accessible van to the local hero facing mobility challenges, who gets the most votes. Westley is in the running, and is certainly a hero to those who know him.
"I don't know if you realize it or not, but you give me strength, and motivation and courage… just watching you," said Dallas Groseclose, to his son, sitting next to him in his scooter.
Over the last three years, Westley and his family have fundraised about $50,000. This money has all been donated to funding research for the disease- at Westley's request. Westley wants to find a cure for everyone battling muscular dystrophy.
"I just want them to have a regular life and be happy," added Westley.
Everyone can vote once a day for their local hero. The competition ends May 9.
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