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LENEXA, Kan. — Kennedy, 11, has cerebral palsy and requires a wheelchair to get around. But as he’s gotten bigger getting him in and out of the family van has become more of a struggle.

“There’s things throughout our entire life like a stair lift in our home that had to come first because otherwise we can’t go up and down the stairs with him and growing strollers and wheelchairs so it always had been pushed to the backburner,” Josh Lyon said.

The problem, the price.

“It can be up to $10,000 – $30,000 to adapt a van, it’s very expensive,” Deborah Wiebrecht, Chief Inclusion Officer for Variety KC, said.

The children’s charity raises money to provide special needs children the special equipment they need to be active, social and belong.

“Any time you can give a child the gioft of mobility, the gift of freedom it’s life changing because they can participate then and these kids don’t need special treatment, they just need special equipment,” Wiebrecht said.

Friday Kennedy got the big surprise, an adaptive seat that stretches outside the van allowing Kennedy to easily be transferred from his wheelchair and then ride right into his seat in the Honda Odyssey.

He gave his parents the signal he wanted to ride it some more, and his face showed the emotion of the moment.

“You guys all saw the immediate smile on his face when he realized he had a new toy but also something that’s going to help us tremendously as he continues to grow,” Lyon said.

If you’d like more information about Variety KC you can find it here.

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