A Robotic Arm for Kevin Schaefer

$40,515 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 310 people in 44 months
Cindy Parker Schaefer  CARY, NC
Kevin was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) when he was 19 months old. When he was 2, he got his first power wheelchair. As the disease progressed, so did his weakness. The past few years have left him with little to no arm strength and now, as a 21-year-old student at N.C. State University, he cannot even feed himself without help. 

Recently, he was able to try out a Jaco robotic arm and a whole new world opened up for him. The arm attaches to the wheelchair and is able to do what Kevin cannot: push buttons, pick up objects, scratch his head and, yes, hold cups and utensils so that he can feed himself! The possibilities are simply limitless. All of this is controlled by Kevin through his joystick - the one piece of his wheelchair that he can maneuver without help. 

The obstacle to this modern wonder is, of course, the cost. It will take upwards of $50,000 to purchase Jaco, something insurance will not cover. Our family is saving on our own, but we will not be able to reach this goal for years. Kevin's annual medical expenses average $30,000 out-of-pocket, including hiring caregivers and providing necessary medical equipment. Little is left for "extras" - which are really must-haves when you are a young man wanting to conquer the world.

We are deeply appreciative of any help and especially for your prayers that Jaco will become a reality. Because Kevin believes, so do we!

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Update 4
Posted by Cindy Parker Schaefer
37 months ago
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IT'S HERE!! Kevin got his robotic arm today! What an incredible early Christmas gift. We have been so blessed by the generosity of friends, family and complete strangers. Even with our own savings added to the pot, we were coming up short. What we didn't know was that folks were working behind the scenes to secure funding from Harmonic Drive - the company that manufactures some of the parts for the JACO arm. And we certainly didn't know that a gang of Santa's helpers was going to show up at our house today and deliver the arm. Kevin's first order of business was to eat a hamburger by himself. Such simple things that most of us take for granted will now be possible for Kevin. Thank you to everyone who helped to make this possible!
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Update 3
Posted by Cindy Parker Schaefer
41 months ago
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Kevin was blessed with another wonderful fundraiser by Chapel Hill North Apartments and Fitzgerald's Irish Pub! What amazing supporters and friends he has!
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Update 2
Posted by Cindy Parker Schaefer
42 months ago
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Due to the unbelievable support of so many, Kevin is now halfway to his goal. Special thanks to the two Jersey Mike's in Chapel Hill for surpassing their initial pledge and donating 50% of their sales last Thursday to Kevin!
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Update 1
Posted by Cindy Parker Schaefer
44 months ago
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We are simply blown away by the love and support shown to Kevin in the past week. We have always known that God has a special plan for Kevin's life and your sweet messages have filled our hearts. To see the impact he has had is humbling indeed. Please continue to pray that his dream of independence is realized. If you are able, we would be so grateful if you shared this page with others. The more who read about Kevin's wish, the better chance he has of seeing it come true. God bless you all!
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Read a Previous Update
Sarah Peyton Weiser
37 months ago

Congratulations - so happy for you all!

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Julie DeCamp Palmer
37 months ago

Congratulations! This is such happy wonderful news. What an amazing surprise for Kevin today!

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$40,515 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 310 people in 44 months
Created May 28, 2015
Cindy Parker Schaefer
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$360
Anonymous
37 months ago
DG
$100
Doug & Rudy Garriss-Pacol
37 months ago
$20
Anonymous
37 months ago
ES
$25
Ed Swift
37 months ago
SP
$77
Scott Perry
37 months ago

Hi Kevin. I know you just got your arm, congrats! I just wanted to give you a little more to boost you over $40,000. Merry Christmas my friend!

$50
Anonymous
37 months ago
$25
Grace Evans
38 months ago
JG
$25
Jo Garrison
38 months ago
1
1

Kevin, I'm the German teacher at Martin...I remember your drama department successes from years ago. Best of luck!

EH
$50
Eileen Heyes
38 months ago

Kevin, you're an inspiration.

$50
Anonymous
38 months ago
Sarah Peyton Weiser
37 months ago

Congratulations - so happy for you all!

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Julie DeCamp Palmer
37 months ago

Congratulations! This is such happy wonderful news. What an amazing surprise for Kevin today!

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