When Ezra’s school nurse, Jess, began noticing that his failing wheelchair was limiting his ability to stay upright in kindergarten class, she knew she had to help.

Ezra is a 6-year old from West Fargo, N.D., who suffers lifelong effects from shaken baby syndrome. He’s nonverbal and tube-fed, but that doesn’t keep him from experiencing the daily joys of playing with his family. He’s a happy, social child growing so fast he needs a new wheelchair almost two years before insurance will cover it, and an adaptive van which isn’t covered.

So, Jess teamed up with the Lend A Hand Up program to plan a benefit, establish an online giving page and gain up to $5,000 of boost funding to increase the value of donations. Thanks to program ambassadors, local media and the baking skills of Ezra’s mom, Jess’s kind-hearted energy inspired a successful movement to help Ezra. In addition to many gifts made online through LendAHandUp.org and monetary gifts made at a November benefit, Ezra’s mom was astounded when a large anonymous gift was made to his benefit fund in early December. The gift doubled proceeds, enabling Ezra to secure a new set of wheels just in time for the new year.

Last year, Lend A Hand Up partnered with passionate volunteers to raise more than $2.1 million for local families facing substantial medical challenges. Since Lend A Hand Up’s operational expenses are covered by Dakota Medical Foundation, 100% of gifts help families.

Sincere appreciation is extended to past, present and future leaders who rally others to lend a hand up to our neighbors in medical crisis.

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Jeana Peinovich

Director, Lend A Hand Up

Fargo, N.D.