Girl Scout Gives Little Boy With Cerebral Palsy A Chance To Swing
DALLAS — A little boy with cerebral palsy will soon get to swing at his neighborhood park just like the other kids thanks to a local Girl Scout.
Chase Cunningham, 3, who is turning 4 on Monday, can’t support himself on a regular swing due to his condition, which he developed at birth due to a lack of oxygen to his brain.
But he enjoys the local park and likes to swing.
Girl Scout Brooke Taylor, a friend of the family, decided to come up with a solution. As part of her Gold Award — the highest achievement in the Girl Scouts — Taylor raised funds to buy and install a handicap-accessible swing at the Charles D. Lemmond Tots Lot at Huntsville Road and Water Street.
“He can’t sit in a regular swing unless someone is holding him. It will allow him to swing in the park like any other kid,” said Chase’s mother, Jennifer. “He loves when you hold him on the swing. He will love this.”
The swing, which resembles a car seat, will be installed Saturday during a ceremony in which Taylor will receive her award.
Taylor’s project was called “Swings for Chase, an HIE Awareness Project.” HIE stands for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, a type of brain damage that occurs when an infant’s brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen and blood.
Taylor, 17, of Kingston, has been in the Girl Scouts since age 5. She’s among just five percent of Girls Scout to rise the ranks to achieve the Gold Award, the equivalent of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts.
A junior at Wyoming Valley West High School, she wants to become an aerospace engineer. She’s been to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Kennedy Space Center several times, including last week.
Chase’s parents, Jennifer and Chris, say they are grateful for Taylor’s effort to make the park more inclusive for kids with disabilities. Chase is grateful, too, they said.
“He’s very smart. He knows things. He knows people. He loves other kids. He likes going to the park,” Jennifer Cunningham said. “He enjoys anything a typical 3- or 4-year-old would enjoy.”
Contact the writer:
firstname.lastname@example.org 570-821-2055, @cvbobkal
SATURDAY: Swing installation
A handicap-accessible swing will be installed 5 p.m. Saturday at Charles D. Lemmond Tots Lot at Huntsville Road and Water Street in Dallas. The swing purchase and installation was a project by a local Girl Scout to get her Gold Award, the organization’s highest honor.
The inspiration for the project was Chase Cunningham, a 3-year-old boy from Dallas with cerebral palsy.
SUNDAY: Benefit for Chase
On Sunday, a benefit is being held from 1 to 4 p.m. for Chase at Rodano’s restaurant in Wilkes-Barre. Cost is $20 for adults and $10 for children in advance. Children age 5 and under are free. Cost is $5 more at the door. Proceeds will go toward medical expenses, equipment, and therapies not covered by insurance. To purchase tickets, contact Carol Mirin at 570-592-3772 or Jackie Deutsch at 570-357-6200.