FRANKFORT, Ind. (WLFI) – Fourteen-year-old Jesus Mejia is pretty shy and doesn’t say much according to Frankfort High School nurse Amy Harshman. But all it takes is a look in his eyes, and fellow students know he’s game to race down the hallway.
“He’ll get going with his wheelchair and just kind of look over at you and see if you’re going to take off,” said Harshman.
Those races aren’t what captured the nurse’s attention in the past year that Jesus has spent at the school.
“He’s got a smile that will just open your heart,” said Harshman.
When Jesus was 2 years old, he was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a disease that affects his ability to move. He had to start using a wheelchair when he turned 8 years old.
“Jesus and I were talking one time about what he does after school, and I realized then with his electric wheelchair that he doesn’t have a vehicle to be able to get in and to go where he wants to go,” said Harshman.
Harshman decided to take action. She nominated Jesus as a local hero on a National Mobility Awareness website that has plans to give away three wheelchair-accessible vans.
“That’s why we ask everyone if they can help us by voting everyday. We can make Jesus’ wish come true so he can go to different places and have fun,” said Daena Mejia, Jesus’ sister.
Only the top five percent of nominees will be considered by being interviewed by a committee that will determine who will win the vehicles. Jesus’ mom said winning the van would be life-changing. She could take him places without help from Jesus’ father, who has to take time off work to come and help his son into and out of their smaller van.
“For those people in my building that don’t ever ask, but you know that they need, those are the ones we want to help,” said Harshman.
It would help Jesus and his family day-to-day, but also make Jesus’ wish to travel and see the ocean someday.
To vote for Jesus before the May 9 deadline, click here.