There is a need in the Ragland community, and a mom is reaching out to the community for help.
Mesa Lee said when her son BJ Briseno was born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) — and Lee called it “the worst form of MD.”
“It is a rare disease, and the females of the family are carriers,” Lee said. “It is a deterioration of the muscles.”
BJ is 10 years old and a fifth-grade student at Ragland School. He has used the same wheelchair for three years and is outgrowing it. Lee said the new wheelchair her son needs would cost $3,000.
“He was able to walk up until last February when we moved here from Ft. Payne,” Lee said. “I grew up here and graduated from Ragland High. He was tested when he was two months old, and when he was 11 months old, the doctors finally gave me the results that he did have MD. I already knew something about it, because my 21-year-old nephew had the disease.”
BJ’s wheels on the current wheelchair rub his hips and get his pants dirty. Lee said she cleans the wheels with a towel every time they go somewhere.
“My main concern is how when I get him dressed, and put him in his chair, he gets dirty,” Lee said. “Plus, as he continues to grow I am afraid he is going to get sores from where the wheelchair rubs him.”
She also said the brakes on the current wheelchair have to be tightened about once a week.
BJ’s teacher is Cindy Farmer, and she said he is a very bright young man.
“He makes good grades and puts forth a lot of effort in his schoolwork,” Farmer said. “He is deserving of what we are trying to do for him.”
Lee was at Monday’s Ragland council meeting asking if she could have a roadblock to raise money for the wheelchair.
The town council voted unanimously to allow Lee to have the roadblock for her son.
“Medicaid will not pay for a new wheelchair for another two years,” Lee said.