Beach wheelchairs given to two local girls with spina bifida

Source: Live 5 News
Source: Live 5 News

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The lives of two local girls changed Wednesday thanks to a generous gift from a non-profit.

The girls, who have spina bifida, received beach wheel chairs and a chance to use them.

And while many of us take trips to the beach for gr anted – this is one the girls will never forget.

"We dread the trek of going to the beach and lugging our coolers, carrying our chairs, and having to carry along anything else…but what we don't think about are those families who have to actually carry the child," Jenna Brown, the campaign family for a neuroscience research fund through MUSC, says.

Two years ago, Brown's daughter was diagnosed in utero with spina bifida, a birth defect where there's an incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord. Following the months of her birth, their neurosurgeon at the MUSC Children's Hospital asked them to be the volunteer campaign family on a research fund through the MUSC foundation.

In an effort to raise awareness about the fund and donations, Brown works with the community to host fundraisers. A nonprofit out of Alabama heard about these efforts and offered to sponsor two children in the area with beach wheelchairs.

The two girls, 16-year-old Aliceia Frame from Beaufort and seven-year-old Elizabeth Jarnagan from Murrells Inlet, were chosen because of their love for the beach and the lack of accessibility (their current wheelchairs) they have to it.

"I never thought that we would be able to be blessed that much," Heather Jarnagan, Elizabeth's mom, says.

"It's amazing that she's actually going to be able to get in the wheelchair and go to the beach by herself," adds Cynthia Jenkins, Aliceia's mom.

"The Angels of Alabama" is the nonprofit group who donated the two beach wheelchairs, which cost thousands of dollars each. The Executive Director of the organization, Tyler Thompson, is also diagnosed with spina bifida.

"It means a lot for me to give back because I know what some of these kids and what some of the families are going through. And I'm really happy to be able to do that for the kids and the families," Thompson says. So far, Thompson has donated four wheelchairs and he'd like to donate many, many more.

For more details about Brown's daughter who has spina bifida go here:

To learn more about "The Angels of Alabama" click here:

To donate to MUSC's research you can do that through their foundation page:

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