BLUFFTON — For Chad and Melissa Weaver, taking their youngest son anywhere is a challenge.
Because 5-year-old Owen uses a wheelchair, he and the 72-pound device need to be lifted in and out of the Weavers' van. Much of the time, Owen is traveling multiple places a day, going to doctor appointments and to his older sibling’s sporting events.
Owen recently was entered in an online contest to win a wheelchair van, at http://www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com.
“We’re trying to get him a wheelchair van,” said Melissa Weaver. “We’ve just not been able to find any state funding for a wheelchair van.”
The contest runs until May 10, with one vote allowed per day. Three vans will be given to families in need.
When Owen was eight weeks old, he was sickened with an extremely deadly form of bacterial meningitis. As a result, he has a variety of developmental disabilities and medical conditions, requiring constant care. Owen is unable to stand, crawl or walk. He attends Marimor Schools and Children’s Developmental Center at Lima Memorial Health System.
“He’s extremely happy. He’s the sweetest kid anyone ever meets,” Melissa Weaver said. “At school, Owen is the kid everybody loves.”
Two Lima children are in the contest, as well: Hunter Deeds, 10, (under his mother’s name Angela Deeds) and Lauren Hatcher, 10.