Stranger gifts expensive device to help 4-year-old boy with cerebral palsy walk for the first time

By Maqsooda
February 16, 2017Storiesshare
Stranger gifts expensive device to help 4-year-old boy with cerebral palsy walk for the first time

This little child had never in his short life experienced what it was like to walk as he suffers from cerebral palsy. Then one part time school teacher then made his dream come true.

Luis Tamarez, 4, attends the elementary school at North Main Street in Pleasantville, New Jersey, and his teachers too would love to see him walk. He crawled around or used the wheelchair to move from one place to another.

The teachers in in the North Main Street elementary school were trying to give a new lease of life to Luis. They all longed to see him walk and this thought came up, because they had learnt of a new device called the Upsee. 

Upsee is a harness that makes it possible for children like Luis to experience the sensation of walking by being strapped to an adult, who then guides the child in the walking movement.

But the cost of the device was the restraining factor.

Luis with his mother, Esmarlin Nunez and step-father, Argenis Borbon. (Courtesy Esmarlin Nunez)

When a substitute teacher Yorel Browne joined the school, he learnt of the situation. The thought of providing for this new device always persisted in his mind.

Browned was a part time driver for Uber, and when Jim Burke, a local businessman happened to travel along with her in an Uber cab, he casually mentioned to him about this little boy and his requirement.

“I’m telling this story of how great this kid was … who has a disability and is so enthused to help himself,” Browne recalled. “He said, ‘Wait a minute, you don’t have to do a fundraiser, I will write a check to cover this device.’ We brought the gentleman to the school. He wrote a check for $500.”


Burke said he had no trouble making the decision for contributing to the purchase of this life changing device for Luis and his family and that it was the right thing to do.

“It was a no-brainer. It touched me. It didn’t even take a split second. It was a very easy decision,” Burke told ABC News of his offer.

It was now time for Luis to make his first walk in the presence of eager spectators; his mom, classmates, teachers, and of course, Jim Burke. The room was tense in anticipation.
And then Luis walked! Luis was excited and shouted out, “I’m walking.”
Burke, the generous donor, shared that he felt his contribution was worth every penny. Burke was truly happy that he gave $500, and, in return, got a million dollar smile.

This story was originally published on the ABC News.
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