There are more than 20,000 children in Florida with limited mobility due to physical disabilities. Just getting around to do minimal tasks can be a big chore.
Madeline Robinson has taken her dream and passion to help these vulnerable children and has turned it into a mission. Her story is What's Right With Tampa Bay.
Genesis Cagle is all smiles these days. The shy 13 year was born with spina bifida, a birth defect caused by her spinal cord not being fully formed at birth.
For the first time, she can now move around like other kids.
"Tennis, basketball, jump rope turn the jump rope and turn the jump rope move around."
Genesis has the independence she longed for, thanks to "Wheelchairs 4 Kids." They give away free wheelchairs, and other mobile devices to help disabled children . They gave Genesis a mobile stander.
"Actually totally changed her life," said Genesis's mother Michelle Cagle. "She's able to be standing up with her peers, interacting instead of sitting in a wheelchair. She can actually reach up and give them a hug. Standing as opposed to sitting."
Madeline Robinson started "Wheelchairs 4 Kids" two years ago with her own money. She helps kids up to the age of 21 who have been turned down by Medicaid or private insurance.
Madeline has dedicated her life to help the plight of children with disabilities.
"When you see these kids, and it causes so much trouble for them, it's not only uncomfortable, it causes things like scoliosis, respiratory problems, pressure sores. There are all kind of issues involved."
Few people understand these conditions better than 37-year-old Chris Leaman. He was born with rheumatoid arthritis and is blind. He's used a wheelchair most of his life.
"For those who can't walk, can't stand, and it gives them a mold of independence that they otherwise would not have," Leaman said.
It is independence that Genesis and her family are grateful for.
"I really appreciate and it has really enrich her life and really made a change." Michelle said.
Wheelchair 4 kids will be having a jail and bail fundraiser next month.
For more information: http://wheelchairs4kids.org/
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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