Susan Shumate shares these photos of Trey, who was born in Roanoke and attended Carver Elementary for many years. Shumate wrote of Trey and his grandmother Jean Gearheart of Roanoke: “This is a sad and touching real-life situation and would love for this family to receive the help they so much need and deserve. I got an email from Jean’s family member that I know well her and the entire family are a great Christian family. When I have seen her struggle with this child getting him to birthday parties and social events, my heart melts and I myself have tried to even help with lifting him and his chair and everything he needs! This is her situation:
I am a grandmother Jean Gearheart looking for someone with a passionate and caring heart. I am 73 years old and have custody of my grandson who is 10 years old and has severe cerebral palsy. Trey is a precious and very happy boy, but can do nothing for himself. I take care of him completely. He is smart and knows what you say to him, but cannot speak to communicate. I have to do a lot of lifting of him, which is hard for me, because of my own medical problems and arthritis in my body. In order for him to go anywhere, I lift him into his chair and roll him to my van. Then I lift him into his car safety seat. I have to lift his chair into the back of my van to take it with us. His chair weighs 69 pounds and I lift it by myself with a struggle. When we arrive where we are going, I lift the chair out of the van, and then lift him from his car seat back to his chair again. I am in great need of a van that he could just roll up into in his chair and be locked into place. That way, I can take him places that he cannot go to now, like church, movies and the mall just like things other children do. I try to keep him in activities as much as possible, but when it is one that I have to drive him to, I have to struggle so he is not able to do all that he could do if he had the ability to remain in his chair to be transported to places.
The Dodge Caravan I now have, is starting to get into high mileage and the engine is starting to have problems from wear and tear that I cannot afford to have repaired. In order to make the van I now have accessible for him to stay in his chair and ride, would cost more than the van is worth. The only income I have is my monthly Social Security, and that is why I cannot afford to do this on my own. I even live in a retirement community and pay rent based on my income to be able to have somewhere to live on my own. If there is anyone or any company that would be willing to help me, my grandson and I would greatly appreciate it. I know there is someone that can do this good deed if they are willing to help. I know that God will surely bless you for your help. Love and Lords Blessing always Jean Gearheart
I wondered if there is a help out there for her. I recently have called and sent messages to Social Services, Disability Dept. and benefit programs, and other agencies and been unsuccessful! I am so sure Salem would be touched by this young guy, and there has to be someone or a business that would be honored to help this family!