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32,597
Votes

Theresa Charlton

Charlemont, MA

Entry Photo for Theresa Charlton - Charlemont, MA

Theresa is a sweet, positive 15-year-old girl who loves music and being around her brother and younger sisters, Catherine and Maggie. Theresa and her older brother, Stevie who is autistic, go to a school that specializes in educating and helping children with disabilities interact, and she communicates through sounds and movements.

Theresa was born with Sturge-Weber syndrome, a neurological and vascular disease that causes calcification of the brain and port-wine stains on her face. Theresa was having 8-10 seizures a day and doctors decided the best chance she had at a normal life was to remove half of her brain. They thought the surgery a success when she awoke and pulled the oxygen mask off her face with the arm they thought would be immobile, but the surgery wasn’t able to stop the seizure that rendered her unable to eat, speak or walk on her own.

Today, Theresa is in a wheelchair, eats through a feeding tube and is unable to speak clearly, but one look at her smile and you know she’s happy. She inspires the people in her family and her community because she stays positive despite her condition. Theresa has a bad case of scoliosis and needs surgery to put rods in her back to straighten her spine and is in constant pain. Yet she’s always pleasant, smiling at and hugging those she loves and cares for.

The one thing she needs is transportation. Her father, my Uncle Steve, is a single dad caring for four children and has only 40% mobility in his left side due to a bicycle accident in his youth. He should probably be in a wheelchair himself, but he refuses so he can take care of his children and the people in his community. He is unable to work, and even though he can’t move well, he lifts Theresa, weighing 85 pounds, in and out of a borrowed car a minimum of 4 times a day – whether they’re going to school, doctor’s appointments, church or family outings. Steve is unable to buy even a used mobility van, and Theresa needs one to avoid the pain of being lifted in and out of a small car, which is all he can afford.

Please vote for Theresa to help her get the mobility van she needs to continue to inspire the people of her community. Your support is greatly appreciated, thank you!