MONSON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The Monson community is coming together in a big way to help a local family and their son who has Muscular Dystrophy.
10-year-old Jason Harris finds happiness playing the drums.
"Because I like music," says Jason.
Which makes sense that his favorite class in school is band.
The fifth grader rules the halls at Granite Valley Middle School in Monson, getting around in his power chair.
Jason’s parents tell Western Mass News he was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy when he was a baby.
"What that means is he is missing the gene that heals his muscles as he grows, and it’s not just his skeletal muscles. Its his organ muscles, It affects everything, so, as he gets older, he essentially gets weaker," Jason's dad, Scott Harris, tells us.
"Him having the power chair would help having a van to be able transport him. It’s more for his independence, because he doesn’t want me pushing him. It gives him the freedom to move around. It gives him legs, as he calls it," says Jason's mom, Kim Harris.
Right now, the Harris family is able to transport Jason in their Jeep.
They put his push wheelchair in the trunk, but it really limits his mobility and freedom.
That’s why they’re looking to get a wheelchair accessible van
"Take Halloween for example. Here in Monson, everyone kind of gravitates to one area of town. He’s got to be in a manual chair being pushed around. He doesn’t have that freedom. Going to a school function that’s at night, a dance or something, we kind of rely on the Transportation Department to get him there, unless somebody’s going to be able to push him around in a manual chair," stated Scott.
Lisa Ronaldson has worked with Jason since he was in pre-school, helping him walk, stretch, and build strength.
Earlier this month, she decided to start a GoFundMe page to help the family get a new van.
"I talked to some of the businesses in town. We’re going to have some eat-outs. Main Street Tavern has agreed to work with us. Westview Creamery has agreed to host a 5K for Jason, and so we’re just really kind of doing everything we can to reach out and find some support, so we can get him a power van that allows him accessibility to the community," said Ronaldson.
Jeffrey Lord, a local realtor who has no ties to the Harris family, is even offering his support, donating 100% of his commission from upcoming home sales.
"This town’s been through a lot, and it always pulls through in the end for people. It’s really nice and, this time, it’s not just our town. It’s reaching further. It’s humbling, very humbling to say the least," added Scott.
Jeffrey Lord with Manor Realty in Monson says the next two people that engage his help in buying or selling their home and mention the GoFundMe account, he will donate 100% of his commission earned and will encourage the cooperating real estate agent to donate a portion of their commission as well.
You can reach contact Jeffrey at 413-433-5819 or stop in at Manor Realty, which is located at 33 Green Street in Monson.
If you would like to make a donation, click or tap here for more information.