Help Orion Become Independent

Thanks for being here! My name is Linda Hudson and Orion Baldwin is my 16 yr old nephew. He lives with his Mom Kristi and his sister Amara in Lawrence, Kansas. They just lost their foundation, best friend, husband and dad Chris Baldwin (43) to kidney cancer in July. Chris, their dad was a stay at home dad and did everything to take care of the children while Kristi works at CVS pharmacy in Lawrence, KS. Orion is 16 yrs old and Amara is 11. Orion has Cerebral Palsy and has always been in a wheelchair. He is our biggest concern now. He has not been able to get to his physical therapist appointments for about a year. He is now unable to transfer himself from his wheelchair due to his loss of core strength. He is getting so heavy now (180 lbs) that it is VERY hard for my niece Kristi to do it by herself. I'm so afraid she is going to get hurt! His dad always helped Orion before, but now he is gone. The family is grieving and just doing their best to get through each day. They have lost soo much!! I just found out that the mobile home they live in does not have a bathroom that is even wheelchair accessible! Orion must use a commode chair in his room. He must go to my sister's house 20 miles away to take a shower. Apparently, This is how life has been for him for the last 2 years due to his mom having to miss work to take care of all of them. My sister, Debbie has helped pay their bills and buy food.

Orion needs a sit to standing wheelchair so he can build his core muscles. He needs transportation to his therapy appointments and a wheelchair accessible van that will help his Mom transport him in dignity. It is almost impossible to transfer him into her little car. I will upload a video of her doing that so you can see how difficult it is and how embarrassing for Orion. This precious family needs a home that is wheelchair accessible with a bathroom that Orion can use!! He is a teenager that needs to become more independent from now on and feel like he can do things for himself! Please help if you can!! Every dollar will go towards paying for the therapy wheelchair he needs, remodeling the bathroom and buying his mom a wheelchair accessible van so he can ride with dignity. I will send you invoices for every penny donated if you give me your email address. I will keep you informed of progress every step of the way!! I am looking for any help, volunteers and money to get Orion the equipment he needs to become an independent adult!

Here us Orion’s personal journey....

Hi! My name is Orion and I was born with a brain injury that caused cerebral palsy. This effected my ability to move my legs.  I have never been able to sit up by myself. I can type, but not write with a pen or pencil. My arms are strong. I will be starting my junior year in high school and will be turning 17 in January 2022. 

Dad stayed home to care for me and Mom went to work everyday. There were lots of trips to Children’s Mercy Hospital and I had 9 surgeries before I was 13. The ones I remember most were on my legs and when I had a medicine pump implanted in my abdomen.

Throughout my life, since I was six months old, I had to do lots of physical therapy. Before the Pandemic, I was going 3 days a week. That changed to online with using only hand weights and elastic bands.  I lost the gains I had made in leg strength. Transferring from my wheelchair became more difficult. Some days are easier than others.  One thing that has made my life difficult is transportation. 

I have been in a wheelchair all my life and transferring into my moms SUV as I grew became more of a challenge.  I have no core strength and bending is very difficult. I have limited ability to move my legs. Mom would basically push and shove me lying on my back to slide into the back seat, then pull me into a sitting position. My legs in their braces were a tight fit even, with the front seat moved forward as far forward as possible. This always made me feel like a piece of luggage. My parents wished they could afford a wheelchair van as I got older. 

My life changed at the beginning of the Pandemic March 2020. My Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  I began online classes at home with my sister.  Mom had to take time off work to take my Dad for tests and treatments for his cancer . For at least 11 months, I never left our house because I am high risk for COVID . We live in a small 3 bedroom mobile home that is not very wheelchair user friendly. It  has a ramp for my wheelchair to enter, but my Mom had to remove my bedroom door for wheelchair access and my parents tried to make the bathroom more accessible to me but they weren’t able to do the remodeling needed for a wheelchair.

Someday I would like to have a manual stand up wheelchair.  I dream of the possibilities of increased independence. I am looking forward to joining clubs when we can go back to school, go to dances, and hang out with my friends. I would like to go to college to become a social worker.  I would like to work with the elderly. 

My grandpa died from COVID-19 at the end of February 2021 two days before my Dad’s 43rd birthday. My dad died on July 19th 2021. He was here for my sister’s 11th birthday on June 28th. Me and my sister are now staying with Grandma whose house is more wheelchair friendly.  My Mom has gone back to work and is working on fixing up our home before school starts on August 18th. I hope to be able to start physical therapy again soon and go back into the world. Having a wheelchair accessible van would make my life a little better.

  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 11 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 11 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 11 mos
  • Barbara Beckerdite 
    • $50 
    • 11 mos
  • Tiffany King 
    • $20 
    • 11 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Team Orion (2)

Linda Lou 
Raised $395 from 6 donations
Lawrence, KS
Debbie Manning 
Team member
Raised $75 from 2 donations