FKF supplies rodeo stroller to Cartersville teenager
by Marie Nesmith
Aug 16, 2014 | 1574 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Living with cerebral palsy, 16-year-old Logan Bearden recently received a lightweight wheelchair, courtesy of the Fragile Kids Foundation and the James M. Cox Foundation.

“It is called a rodeo stroller,” said Logan’s mother, Debbie. “The reason we asked them to help us was because Logan takes a medicine that does not allow him to sweat. So, as you know, a regular standard wheelchair does not have a top on it and this does. Also, Logan has seizures and if he ever has a seizure and he’s in his wheelchair, it’s difficult. ... This rodeo actually tilts back and it makes it so much easier.

“I was ecstatic,” she said, referring to her initial reaction to learning Logan would be receiving the piece of equipment. “I can’t even begin to tell you. I can push him around the block. It just makes life so much simpler. I was just overwhelmed.”

The Cartersville resident was one of 70 Georgia youth that benefited from the Cox Foundation awarding a $125,000 grant to FKF to bolster its medical loaned equipment program across the state.

“This generous gift from the James M. Cox Foundation will allow us to fulfill the needs of every child on our waiting list,” stated FKF Executive Director Carolyn Polakowski in a news release. “We are thrilled to be able to provide 70 children in Georgia with the equipment they so desperately need for therapy and rehabilitation within the next few months.”

The additional funds will enable FKF to acquire additional equipment, increasing its for-loan inventory by 25 percent.

According to FKF’s news release, “Established in 1988, the Fragile Kids Foundation provides rehabilitative and medical equipment not covered by insurance or government programs for medically fragile children. The organization serves children from birth to age 21 with critically needed equipment, transportation support, and therapy tools that cannot be secured by other means. Fragile Kids strives to create safer, healthier lives for children living with a wide range of diagnoses, including: Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, Spina Bifida, Mitochondrial Disorder, Retts Syndrome, Angelmans and other genetic/traumatic injuries.

“... Assistance offered to families includes: wheelchair lifts, stair-lifts, and overhead lifting systems to safely transport children in wheelchairs, ramping for homes and vans, specialized car seats, toileting and bathing systems, specialized strollers and more. Since its inception, Fragile Kids has helped more than 5,000 children across Georgia with equipment grants and the sharing of loaned equipment.”

In a non-related offering, the Beardens also were among the recipients of an in-county mission effort called SPLASH — Show People Love and Share Him — Bartow in July. More than 400 middle- and high-school students from about 40 Bartow County churches participated in the overall initiative, conducting Backyard Bible Clubs, visiting assisted living facilities, interacting with children at a special needs camp, and performing housekeeping, construction and yard maintenance tasks at residences and nonprofits.

At Debbie Bearden’s home, SPLASH Bartow volunteers built two wheelchair ramps to provide Logan greater access to their gazebo’s swing, which has become a source of relaxation.

For more information about FKF, call 770-951-6111.