Kids & Family

Help James Get the Van He Needs

It's not easy getting around when you don't have a vehicle that can carry a heavy motorized wheelchair. That's why we're raising money to get James the van he needs.


It's not easy getting from place to place when you're in a wheelchair, and even harder when you don't have a vehicle that can carry a heavy motorized chair. That's why we're telling James Nock's story.

James loves to play with kids his own age near his home in Jeannette. He likes to play football and basketball, and likes it when kids let him join in when they're riding bikes. For James to fit in and be part of all that, he needs his wheelchair. But his chair weighs almost 400 pounds, which makes it tough for his mom, Paula Kessler, to get it to and from the park.

James was diagnosed with several rare genetic disorders. Spinal cerebellum ataxia type 13 or SCA13 affects his fine and gross motor functions. In addition he has what's called a "duplication" of chromosome 17 which typically causes problems with mental and intellectual development. James also developed epilepsy autism as well as other behavior disorders. May 18, 2018 James' life changed even more drastically. He had 4 seizures within 2 hours. He still hasn't rebounded, and doctors don't expect he will.

James' wheelchair is over 400 pounds. The lift the family had installed in their van last year failed, and now they need a specially modified wheelchair van. That's left James pretty much house-bound with no "wheels" for his wheelchair. It's why mom Paula has organized fundraisers, like a recent spaghetti dinner.

Paula has set up a GoFundMe page in hopes of being able to buy that special van.

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