Aaron B

IM ABLE received this grant application in June of 2023:

To whom it may concern,

Aaron is a fun, loving 11-year-old boy. He was diagnosed with Bruck Syndrome at 6 weeks old. It is a combination of brittle bones and muscle contractures. When he was first diagnosed, he had already gone through so much in his short little life. He had many fractures but that did not stop him from coming back stronger every time. With IV treatments and therapy, he has not had any major bone fractures. He showed so much strength and determination. He has since gotten treatment at some amazing hospitals. After many hard years and many surgeries, his quality of life has improved dramatically. He has received physical therapy along with occupational therapy and many surgeries to try and get him to walk more. As of now, he still relies mostly on his wheelchair for mobility, but can walk with crutches and leg braces.

One of the main parts of his condition is arthrogryposis. Arthrogryposis affects Aaron’s legs, specifically his knees. His knees are permanently in the bent position. He uses braces and a wheelchair to get around. Because of this, Aaron does not get to get out of the house much.

When I saw his eyes light up while he was watching his peers play basketball, and simultaneously watching his heart break because he could not join them, I knew that I had to do something for my baby boy. I had to get him into wheelchair basketball. I found an amazing local team, in Philly, called Katie’s Komets, after doing some research. From the moment Aaron sat in the basketball wheelchair for the first time, he fell in love with the sport.

We would love for Aaron to be able to have his very own basketball wheelchair. A grant for equipment such as a basketball wheelchair from the IM ABLE foundation would be life changing for Aaron. Wheelchair basketball offers Aaron an opportunity to make new friends and new connections that he would otherwise not be able to have. It has given him a reason to get up and move, and a reason to get stronger every single day. He goes out and practices his shooting skills as well as his movements. However, he does not have a wheelchair of his own. He is currently using a hand me down that a teammate outgrew. While we are extremely grateful for this chair, Aaron’s condition makes it hard for his legs to fit in right into the wheelchair he is currently using.

Aaron considers himself an intermediate athlete. He says that he believes he has improved so much since he started, and he only wants to keep getting better. His goal is to play for team USA in the Paralympics. He would be humbled to receive a grant from your foundation that would help him get even better in the sport that he loves. Having a chair of his own, that fits his body, would allow him to keep improving his skills and move more easily and comfortably in his wheelchair. He believes that by having a basketball wheelchair of his own, he will be able to test his limits. Getting this grant will help Aaron meet the stated mission of the IM ABLE FOUNDATION by helping him have a chair that will allow him to be more active and efficient, a chair that we would otherwise be unable to afford. The events that he must attend if he gets the grant would help motivate him to keep getting better as well as motivate other children or adults that may be needing the help and motivation as well.

This grant would be a huge help for us since we are having some financial difficulties at the moment. Aaron’s most recent surgery was a major one. He had surgery in September and had to stay in recovery for three months. After the surgery, I had to quit my previous job, as they did not have the option to go on family leave. For me, Aaron and his brother are the most important people in my life. While I loved my job so much and the financial repercussions that came with my decision to leave it were hard on all of us, I would make that decision all over again. It was worth it to be able to be with him every step of the way for those three months. However, after leaving my previous job, I had an extremely challenging time finding new employment. I struggled for months applying for jobs and finally landed one three months after he got released from the hospital. I am still reeling from the emotional and financial stress that this surgery came with. I am still trying to catch up with bills and trying to keep it together while living paycheck to paycheck. The job that I currently have is just barely enough to keep afloat in this suffering economy with prices on the rise. Without the help from this foundation, I would not be able to afford a new basketball wheelchair for Aaron. Our household includes Aaron, his brother Dominic and me, his mother.

Aaron would be honored to attend all events as an ambassador of the IM ABLE foundation. He is excited to be able to show other children as well as adults that anything is possible if you put your heart into it. He would love to participate in all the events and fundraisers so that he can learn to have a more open mind and meet new people. Being able to bring awareness to the fact that you can be an athlete even though you have a disability is just one of the ways that Aaron has impressed me as a mother, and that is something that I would like the rest of the world to see.

IM ABLE surprised Aaron with a chair of his own at basketball practice on January 23, 2024!

Our generous donors and volunteers made this possible and we can’t thank them enough.