When Clay was 3 or 4 years old, he took a family trip to a lake. He was lying on a chair watching the clouds go by, with a distant look in his eyes. Gloria, a friend of his grandmother, asked Clay “What are you daydreaming about?” He calmly said, “I’m thinking about running.” Gloria replied, “Can you run?” Clay said to her, “In my dreams I can.”
Arthrogryposis affects every joint, muscle and tendon in Clay’s body, including his jaws and spine. He started walking at age 4. Then, after 2 right femur fractures within 2 years and a fracture of his arm directly below the joint at the shoulder 6 months later, he was unable to walk anymore. The recovery from the femur fractures took several months and he lost a lot of strength. Still positive and determined, he has continued to rigorously engage in intense physical therapy.
Clay got his driver’s license at the age of 16. He longed for the opportunity to go places without assistance loading and unloading his wheelchair and being helped in and out of it. Clay’s mother, Lisa, contacted Kya’s Krusade to get resource information about a wheelchair lift and grants that could pay for it. We located a retailer that had a remote control-operated wheelchair lift that could transfer the wheelchair between the bed of a truck, the door of the vehicle and the ground. We conferred with Lisa and the vendor to ensure that the model would be compatible with both the truck and his wheelchair.
Clay continued to translate his dream of running after receiving the wheelchair lift through the Kya’s Krusade Financial Assistance Program in January 2008. Whole-heartedly embracing his new level of freedom and independence, Clay got a job he loves and drives himself wherever he needs to go, unassisted. Bright, independent and outgoing he continues to work hard in school, at work and with his physical therapy and looks forward to going to college and pursuing his dreams.
Lisa & Clay continue to be special members of the Kya’s Krusade Community!
Kya’s Krusade is a comprehensive resource center, serving children and families affected by physical disabilities, specializing in Arthrogryposis and other less publicized physical disabilities. We offer education and assistance for children from diagnosis through 18 years of age. We strive to form a diverse community network and provide opportunities to enable equal access to all available informational, emotional, medical and financial sources of support