Congratulations to the Kiser family in Monroe, Ohio! 10-year-old William Kiser who lives with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, as well as his mom Yulaunda, dad Scott, and four older siblings, were gifted a safe and accessible van through the Jett Giving Fund.
William was diagnosed with Duchenne very early on in his childhood, which is characterized by progressive muscle weakness. As a toddler, Yulaunda noticed that his muscles weren’t developing progressively. Once he was diagnosed, she soon became a full-time caregiver to her son, along with help from his dad and siblings.
William began using a power wheelchair, with the aid of his family, to navigate around. The Kiser family loves to get out of the house and take part in all of William’s favorite activities, creating tons of fun memories. However, one overwhelming obstacle previously was that his parents had to lift and transfer his mobility device, weighing about 300 pounds, in and out of their old van which made it difficult to transport.
Jett Giving Fund is a financial assistance program where families raise half the funds needed for their equipment, and Jett Foundation covers the remaining half of the costs for families in the program. The Kisers needed an accessible van that totaled $65,000. With both Jett Foundation’s Jett Giving Fund and community support as a helping hand, the Kiser family reached their fundraising goal and received their van.
Their new vehicle will allow them to go about their daily routine without feeling overwhelmed. As the stress of how to get around is lifted off the Kiser families’ shoulders, Yulaunda says, “Now we’re making memories that will last forever.”
Yulaunda points out how the new van has not only been vital medically, but has also changed Williams’ independence immensely and given him a new sense of freedom. As a result, Yulaunda doesn’t have to solely rely as heavily on the help of her family. With her other children getting older, graduating college, and moving, it became harder for her to take William to his doctors appointments and do other every-day activities by herself.
“If William had a doctor’s appointment I used to have to take one of the older kids out of school. My husband had to work and I was already taking the day off work. I don’t need to do that now.”
“We are all warriors. We are all fighting for our kids. You don’t let it stop there because this is just another fight. And all of us parents, we got this.”
While the global pandemic raised many challenges, the Kiser family remained hopeful. Yulaundas’ advice for anyone in a similar situation: “Be raw, be real, don’t be afraid to do those extra fundraisers. Get out there, every little bit helps.” Being able to share their stories with others allowed them to connect with others in the Duchenne community and beyond.
“We are all warriors. We are all fighting for our kids. You don’t let it stop there because this is just another fight. And all of us parents, we got this,” she continued.
The Kiser family can’t wait to be able to continue doing all of Williams’ favorite things and be able to take in all the little moments, without letting other factors get in the way!
You can help us to support more families through the Jett Giving Fund. Donate today or learn more about becoming a sponsor by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Started in 2017, Jett Giving Fund has helped transform the lives of countless families across the country with over $1.7 million worth of accessible equipment and emergency assistance thanks to the generous support of individual donors, local communities, and major sponsors including Cure Dale’s Duchenne, Sarepta Therapeutics, and Flatley Foundation.