Leyden community supports student in need of specialized wheelchair
Miguel Galvan is wheelchair bound. He has outgrown his current wheelchair and requires a new one that is specially equipped to meet his needs.
The bottom line is Miguel is in need of financial support. And the Leyden community is responding to that necessity as it joins forces to help the Northlake resident and his family.
Miguel, 19, is a special needs student in District 212's Transition Program, a course that serves students 18 to 22 years of age and focuses on life skills, self-advocacy and vocational training.
Born with an intellectual disability and orthopedic impairment, Miguel is wheelchair bound. He has outgrown his current wheelchair and requires a new one that is specially equipped to meet his needs -- one that includes a sit to stand feature that is an additional $18,000; and a seat elevating feature that is an additional $3,000. This additional $21,000 isn't covered by Medicaid.
The Division of Specialized Care for Children committed to contributing $7,000 toward the wheelchair purchase, but that left Miguel's family with the task of raising $14,000. Enter Unity in the Community, a nonprofit foundation that helps people in need within the community.
When Unity in the Community founder Tom Brimie learned of Miguel's dilemma, he presented the teen with a check for $10, 000 to help cover the purchase of the specially outfitted wheelchair. The organization is "fronting" the money -- giving it to Miguel now because he needs the wheelchair now. Via fundraisers and donations, the $10,000 will be paid back to the organization over time.
Last month the organization put a link on their website so community members can make a direct donation toward the purchase of Miguel's wheelchair. Leyden is currently working on an in-house fundraiser; and planning a fundraiser at Underpass next fall to raise the $4000 and repay the $10,000.
Miguel has many challenges, but according to his Leyden case worker Giuseppina Shields, he is "a kind soul, always so happy in any situation he is put in. He is upbeat, positive and an inspiration to all." He is a Fern Award winner, and a member of the Special Olympics basketball and track teams, Shields says.
If you want to make a donation, please visit www.theunityincommunity.org.
Click on the yellow "donate" button located directly above Miguel's picture.