‘It takes a village.’ A phrase often describing support by the greater community in helping a child. Local mom Tara Weston is reaching out to her community: a last effort to keep her son’s wheelchair lift van and pay his remaining medical bills.
Her goal is to crowdfund $5 from 5,000 people, to raise a total of $25,000 in support of Noah’s journey.
“I’m just trying to put myself in a positive mindset. If 5,000 people gave $5, we’d have Noah’s van,” says Weston, who recently had to sell their family home to keep Noah’s fundamental transportation.
“If we can’t raise the money … and we lose this van, Noah basically has no access within the community anymore,” she says.
Noah has stage five spastic quadriplegia and cerebral palsy, he is legally blind and is speech impaired. Soon he will undergo his 38th surgery at the IWK.
Despite Noah’s many surgeries and daily seizures, his smile is full of joy and “he has chocolate eyes that melt your heart,” says Lauren Emanuel, student and services department head at CP Allen High School.
“They’re having a giggle-fest today,” says Jenny-Kate Hadley, vice principal at CP Allen. Noah and his friends sit laughing around their classroom table. “Noah is so engaged with the students,” says Emanuel.
Weston says the family has spent close to $220,000 over the past 15 years and his ongoing nursing and attendant needs have been assessed in excess of $7,600 per month. “We’ve great health care coverage here in Canada, but between insurance and provincial health coverage, it doesn’t cover all his medical expenses,” says Weston, leaving $3,800 each month not covered.
The family recently moved to an apartment in Bedford, from their family home specially designed for people with special needs.
“We couldn’t afford a house and a van, so we had to choose what Noah needed. We thought, it doesn’t matter where we live, if Noah had a good quality of life and can get around in the community … he’ll be happy.”
Having exhausted every avenue of financial help, from non-profit, government, friends and family, Weston says $5 from 5,000 is literally their last resort. With more than 400,000 people living in HRM, it’s a goal she says she hopes is attainable for Noah.
*Note: Since last week the family has raised $1,256 in donations and are now hoping to raise $23,000.
To donate, go to www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/noah-s-journey/201524 or find the link by visiting Noah’s Journey on Facebook.