Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Tale of a Lunenburg Teen

Jordan Corkum is 17 years old. He doesn't spend his weekends at the local Mall, at the beach or even hanging out with friends. In fact, he doesn't spend his weekends doing much of anything. And his summer is looking the same way ... pretty bleak. Why?

Jordan is in a wheelchair. And his mom doesn't have access to a wheelchair accessible van. Or any other vehicle for that matter. So Jordan's outings are limited to walks. For as far as and in whatever direction his mom can push him in his wheelchair.

But thanks to Jordan's bus driver, the family might just get some much-needed help.
Lisa Tanner, who drives Jordan’s bus, has spent every school day with the Cor­kums for the last year. But it wasn’t until Ms. Tanner had a conversation with the Corkums about her weekend that she really understood what life is like for them. “I was talking about running my three kids around here and there and I mentioned the beach or something and said have you been there lately," said Ms. Tanner. “She was . . . no and that happened a few times when I would mention places, and then it donned on me. They don’t get to go anywhere and that’s not right, so I decided then and there that we’re getting them a van."

Ms. Tanner has been on a mission.

Her goal is to raise enough money to buy the family a good, used wheelchair ­accessible van.

After several fundraisers, about $8,000 has been raised, which Ms. Tan­ner said is good, but nowhere near the $20,000 she expects that she needs for the purchase.
“I really wanted to have this for them by this summer, but I guess as long as we do get it eventually, I’ll certainly be happy," she said.

"She’s a very dedicated mom who’s doing this all on her own, so she really just needs a break. She hasn’t had an easy go of it and she deserves some help."

Ms. Corkum said she is trying not to get her hopes up but can’t help day­dreaming about the simple things, like going to the beach or even just taking Jordan to the Bridgewater Mall for the afternoon so he can hang out.

“It would make Jordan’s quality of life so much better," she said. “He’s like a shut-in and he’s only 17. He sees the same four walls and the same two faces way too much. He’s already missed out on so much and there are so many sim­ple things that he just shouldn’t be mis­sing out on."
There is a trust fund set up called Wheels for Jordan Corkum at TD Cana­da Trust for donations. And although more fundraisers are planned, help is needed to keep the momen­tum going.

Two thoughts come to find.

First of all, thank God for the kindness of virtual strangers whose eyes can be opened to really see the lives of others and what role they might play in helping them.

And but for the grace of God ... one thing I've learned living in the world of disabilities is that no matter how bad you might think you have it, you can always find someone living in a more difficult situation. All you need to do is open your eyes, stop gazing into your navel and really look around you.

So if you consider yourself, your children, your family to be 'lucky' in the grand scheme of things, maybe there's something you can do to help Jordan and his family. Maybe even help him make his very first trip to the beach. All you need to do is make a trip to your nearest TD Canada Trust office.

If the spirit so moves you ...

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