KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A few months ago FOX 4 told you about 19-year-old Dewey Stebbins in need of a specialized wheelchair, but his family was unable to pay for it… the nearly $50,000 price tag was just too steep.
FOX 4's Melissa Stern did a follow up with the Stebbins on Thursday and they told her how our original story is helping Dewey get his independence back.
Thanks to the help of the community and a local seating and Mobility Company, Dewey now has a brand new wheelchair.
“It`s like riding in a Cadillac, because the seat is so much more comfortable!” Stebbins said.
He was shaking with excitement as he tests out his new power chair; the first time in almost a year he can stand up.
“It`s really rewarding for me, because I’ve been out of standing position for nine months now,” added Stebbins, “You don`t know how much you`re missing until you don`t have it anymore.”
Dewey was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at birth. For him, the affects were mainly physical.
“It`s hard on your body, it`s hard on the people that take care of you,” said Stebbins.
But his power chair gives him the independence he needs; something that was taken away when his previous chair stopped working.
“it`s tough when the equipment doesn`t work properly, life for the last month is surrounded around using the restroom,” said Dewey's dad, Shawn.
Shawn says the old chair did not stand anymore, among other defects.
Their insurance would only pay $2,500 for a new one.
So they started raising the money to get this chair.
Randolph Medical in St. Joseph sold them this specialized, custom power chair to them for $48,500.
“Being able to personalize the chair to Dewey and being able to offer a lot of different positions and functions, including the standing ability to help with the circulatory and skeletal system, has huge advantages and that`s what makes the chair more expensive because the technology that`s built into it,” said Kenton Randolph, the owner of Randolph Seating and Mobility.
“For me, it`s just seeing his excitement,” added Shawn. “To give him the freedom, because he`s an independent guy, he likes doing what he wants... it`s overwhelming, and it`s just a blessing.”
“I’ve known since last Friday, and I’ve been counting down the days until today,” Stebbins said. “It will open up new doors that have been shut for nine months.”
The Stebbins say they are so grateful for everyone who donated -- including the Aiden Mcvicker charitable fund who gave them $20,000.