Pueblo family is raising money for ‘robotic legs’ to help son walk
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- There's a family in Pueblo who's making it their mission to never take a step for granted. Their son Vance was born with muscular dystrophy. He stopped walking when he was about three years old. But now there's new hope on the horizon for the 4th grader.
"He goes through stages, whether it's Legos or King Kong," laughs Mark Davis, Vance's dad.
10-year-old Vance Davis, loves King Kong.
"He's a cool monster," says Vance Davis.
King Kong helps him get his homework done. Followed by a walk around the house.
A walk that some might take for granted, but for Vance, it's a life-changing journey. Vance has a rare form of muscular dystrophy that impacts his collagen, which has lead to weak muscles. He stopped walking about seven years ago.
"He is constantly battling contractures in his joints," says Mark.
It has been extremely challenging for Vance and the entire Davis family.
"For me anyway it's best to take one day at a time," says Mark. "I try and live in the moment and appreciate the blessings that we do have."
Through years of therapy and various walkers, now comes the most promising blessing of all. The Trexo robotic system is a home gait training device. It serves as exoskeleton. The Trexo goes over Vance's legs and when he fires his muscles to walk, the robot helps him finish the rest of the motion.
"We like to call him the little Iron Man when he's in it," says Mark. "When we put him in the Trexo and making those movements he hasn't made in seven years, we were worried he wasn't going to have that flexibility in his hips since he hasn't walked for so long."
But the biggest hope for Vance may also be his biggest despair. His robot legs cost about $40K and it's not covered by insurance. With the help of a GoFundMe account, the family has raised enough to lease the Trexo for a few months. But they hope to buy one.
"As a father it's a prideful thing to ask for financial help, but at the end of the day, I can swallow my pride and just ask for assistance," says Mark. "If there's anything you can give to help us out and help our son, we appreciate it."
All for a machine that helps Vance walk, and hopefully feel a lot more like a 10-year-old should
"The way he works through his behaviors and he just amazes me like everyday," says Nicole Horton, Vance's tutor from the Family Support Center. "He is a rock star."
And Vance's little sister is pretty proud too.
"He really deserves this Trexo, I don't know what I would do without him," says Presley Davis, Vance's sister.
This robotic system helps Vance feel strong, like King Kong and Iron Man. One step at a time, it's changing this 4th graders life.
"He usually has such a good attitude despite the limitations of his body," says Mark.