Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

April 11, 2013

Family trying to raise funds for wheelchair accessible vehicle

NECHES —

Sixteen-year-old Heather Lee would like nothing more than to walk around a track her stepfather, Kenneth Gibson, fashioned in their yard for their family to exercise on.

But Heather, a freshman at Neches High School, is now confined to a wheelchair 100 percent of the time because of her debilitating muscular dystrophy.

"She's so depressed," said her mother, Rebecca Gibson. "She just wants to be normal."

Unfortunately, "normal" isn't a way of life for the Gibson family.

Of the five children, three have muscular dystrophy. Eighteen-year-old Matthew Lee has a seizure disorder and mental retardation along with muscular dystrophy, a group of muscle diseases that weaken the musculoskeletal  system and impair movement. Muscular dystrophies are characterized by progressive muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins and the eventual death of muscle tissue.

There is no known cure and no definitive treatment to slow to stop the progression of the disease.

Thirteen-year-old Kathryn Lee also suffers from muscular dystrophy.  

The two youngest children are healthy.

Heather's condition has deteriorated rapidly since Thanksgiving 2012, forcing her into a wheelchair full time. The family's home is not equipped with a wheelchair ramp and the family car cannot accommodate either a wheelchair or a wheelchair carrier.

United Access, a company from Garland that offers wheelchair accessible vans and vehicle sales, service, and rental functions to people with disabilities, has a 2006 Ford van the family is trying to purchase for $24,000 in cash.  The van, which can fit Heather's wheelchair, also has removable seats in the likely event Matthew and Kathryn need wheelchairs in the future as well.

Kenneth and Rebecca, who are both disabled themselves, are trying to raise the funds needed to purchase the van.

The family has set up an account at Austin Bank under the account name "Kenneth and Rebecca Gibson Benefit for Heather Lee." If you wish to donate, contact Austin Bank.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Christian Rapper 0419.tif Local rap artist spreads the 411 on Jesus

    "I have seen things in my life that would make Dr. Phil crazy," Jacksonville native, ordained minister and aspiring rap artist Stephen I. Crow Jr. said with a laugh. "That's why I don't label my music specifically as "Christian rap" -- yes, Christians who love rap can listen and hopefully be uplifted, but I truly want and am trying to bring the word and Jesus' message to people who may never have heard it or don't believe it's for them.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tomato Bowl flushed to bottom of priorities

    The historic Tomato Bowl, built in 1940, stands strong on the outside, but according to some people the inside needs a lot of work in order to not be an eyesore.

    April 19, 2014

  • Cherokee County arrest: April 8-14

    The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.

    April 19, 2014

  • Jacksonville College, high schools team up to offer dual credit program

    Jacksonville College is currently offering qualifying high school juniors and seniors attending Jacksonville and New Summerfield ISDs and The Brookhill School in Bullard the opportunity to get head start on their higher education.

    April 18, 2014

  • JISD board members to consider district strategic plan

    The Jacksonville ISD Board of Trustees will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 21, to discuss a district strategic plan and consider buying new band uniforms.

    April 18, 2014

  • 2 men arrested after standoff in grocery store

    Two men were arrested early Wednesday morning after a standoff at the B&B Foods in Alto.
    According to Alto Police Chief Jeremy Jackson, a person reported seeing two black males at the store just before 3 a.m. Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Some area entities closed for holiday

    Many area offices and businesses will be closed Friday in observance of Good Friday and Easter.

    April 17, 2014

  • Dispatcher Enge 0416.tif JPD dispatcher killed in wreck

    A dispatcher for the Jacksonville Police Department was killed Monday on her way to work, according to officials.
    Amber Enge, 35, of Whitehouse was pronounced dead at the scene of a one-vehicle wreck Monday afternoon on CR 2177 in Whitehouse.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • CR speed limit changes, E-filling fee top agenda

    On Monday, Cherokee County commissioners set April 28 to hold public hearings concerning the changing speed limits on two county roads.

    April 16, 2014

  • Catherine look.tif Religious lines drawn: Protesters met by members of Church of Wells

    Other than a few community members' voices that rose above the crowd, the protest Saturday against the Church of Wells remained peaceful.

    April 15, 2014 3 Photos