Curtis Hall is 20 years of age and recently graduated from high school. He aspires to study illustration and graphic design. He is working towards getting into Polk State College to take his training even further. Hall has limited use of his hands due to a degenerative muscle disease, which also left him unable to walk on his two feet. He hasn’t been able to use his legs since standard 10 and has been moving around by wheelchair ever since. Curtis has been assisted by a paraprofessional to get used to his new way of living.
Last year, Curtis’s wheelchair malfunctioned. His teacher reached out to different organizations for help when Medicaid refused to repair or substitute his chair. His teacher’s efforts proved fruitful as the members of Leadership Lakeland agreed to lend a temporary wheelchair to Curtis as a loan so that he could look to repair his personal chair.
But Curtis was growing taller by the day and his old wheelchair couldn’t seat him as comfortably as it used to. Soon it had to be accepted that the machine could no longer be used efficiently. Curtis could not afford a new wheelchair and that posed a huge problem. This hindered his ability to continue with his daily routine. He could no longer attend school, which disheartened his teachers who were saddened that a talented artist like Curtis had to miss school simply because he did not have the money to buy a new wheelchair.
This news reached the ears of The Ledger’s Newspaper, which had a program called Newspaper with a Heart. This program is a result of the generosity of the readers of Ledger who collectively realized the need to help those less fortunate. On finding out about Curtis’s situation, the committee approved the purchase of a brand new custom made wheelchair without further ado. They were generous enough to understand Curtis’s situation and spent close to $10,000 for his welfare.
Curtis’s old wheelchair now serves as a backup ever since it came back from the shop. The generosity of Ledger’s Heart Program meant that Curtis could now attend his high school graduation. He was extremely moved by the community’s effort to bring him happiness. He expressed great appreciation and is looking forward to starting his higher studies next fall.