Big smiles, bigger adventures in store for Jacob Sawade
January 19, 2019
I met Jacob Sawade in high school. He's the older brother of a friend of mine and I remember him always smiling with such a positive and bright outlook on life.
Jacob, 37, was born with cerebral palsy, but that has never stopped his adventurous soul. After a recent surgery, he hasn't been able to get around as easily as he'd like and the wheelchair he was using never let him explore as much as he wanted. He began doing some research and found his dream chair!
The Action Trackchair would allow him to travel off the pavement and finally do the proper off-roading he's always dreamed about. But the price tag ... $19,000. Jacob has never been one to give up, so he and a friend set up a GoFundMe account. In less than four months, anonymous donors from our community and across the nation donated enough for him to receive the best Christmas gift. One of the anonymous donors gave $10,000 toward the chair, another gave $5,000. The rest came sprinkling in from our generous community.
"I am so thankful for the good people out there who look out for people like me," Jacob said. "They made this possible."
Jacob's sister Jaime told me, "everyone has always loved Jacob." I couldn't agree more.
Jacob has already taken the chair up to Tehachapi Mountain Park, one of his favorite places. He traveled up a hiking path and nearly reached the very top. I'm sure his list of future adventures will just keep expanding. Including, using the plow attachment on the front of the chair ... if we ever get more snow, this will come in quite handy.
Outside of the Action Trackchair's ability to feed Jacob's adventurous spirit, it comes with another amazing feature. The chair is able to lift Jacob to almost standing position, meaning for the first time, he can look at people face to face.
What's next for Jacob? As soon as the weather gets a little warmer, he's heading for the beach. Most likely Pismo Beach for an adventure in the sand.
"I want to get down in that sand," he said.
Do you know an inspirational group, individual or program that should be featured in an upcoming Grassroots Tehachapi? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next time and be kind to one another!