New Ramp Brings Joy & Tears

Being a mom of three children is no joke.  Having one of the three that is handicapped brings on a whole different set of difficulties.

CJ Meckes was born with spina bifida. He is a twin to his sister who is a healthy six-year-old. Spina bifida is a developmental congenital disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube. This hasn’t stopped CJ from being a normal child who wants to play ball and have fun, despite his limitations. Until recently, the only way in or out of his home was to be carried. United Way of Washtenaw County connected CJ's family with the UAW/Ford Community Service Crew and it has made a tremendous difference. 

The Community Service team: headed up by Tom Kanitz and Crew leader Shane Herrell, Richard Valko, Jason Schiffman, Brian Brandvold, and Ron Valko.  The Community Service Crew is under the leadership of UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles and Marty Mallory from Ford.

This specifically designed “Ford Tough” ramp is equipped with an attached play area for CJ. The UAW/Ford work crew thought it would help CJ be able to get outside more for fresh air, sunshine and play. There were tears of happiness from CJ’s grandma and she said, “I want to give back, after all this outpouring for my grandson.” She plans on going to her local United Way to volunteer.