Shortly after eight-year-old Kamden Houshan was born, he was left paralyzed after doctors performed surgery to take out a large tumor on his T2 and T3 vertebras.
By the time he went to kindergarten, he was in a wheelchair so he could be more independent. Most of his classmates only saw Kamden for his wheelchair and disability, but one boy, Paul Burnett, was able to look past all that and the two have been best friends ever since.
“What really contributes to their friendship is that Paul does not see Kamden as someone who has a disability. He sees him as Kamden. Because of that Kam truly is himself around him,” Kamden’s mom, Yvonne Houshan, said. However, as Kamden got older, Paul started to notice that the wheelchair was holding his best friend back.
“His wheelchair has fallen forward many times and that sucks. Also, he has a really hard time pushing it because it’s so heavy. But do you even know what’s worse than that? His wheelchair is too big for him to fit in his bathroom. He can’t even fit through the door and use the toilet without asking for help,” Paul said.
Medicare only pays for a new wheelchair every five years and Kamden’s chair wasn’t made for him as he grew. “We couldn’t afford another chair. We put it on the back burner,” Yvonne said. After school finished this year, Paul asked his mom if he could help Kamden get a new chair by raising money for him.
“If he gets a new wheelchair he’s going to be more comfortable and he’ll do more things on his own. I think he would go super fast if he got this new chair and we can play more. Please help Kamden,” Paul wrote on the GoFundMe campaign that he started. In under a month, Paul has managed to raise more than $5,400, which far exceeded his $3,900 goal.
Kamden will receive his new chair in August, but could already feel a huge difference in the wheelchair he tested. “This new chair is a lot lighter. It will make things so much better. He could push himself more and do more,” Yvonne said. “Paul is really just a sweet kid. I just couldn’t believe it. Who would have thought? I never guessed it would be like this, not in a million years.”
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[Featured image: Today/Jenny Burnett]