Dear Ms.Deb,

This is a letter asking Variety for a grant so I can get a new chair. I need a new basketball chair because the one I have now is too small for me.

First, I want you to know that wheelchair basketball means everything to me.It has changed my life more than I thought it would. Wheelchair basketball showed me there are more people out there that are like me. It has also shown me that I can do sports that I thought I never would be able to do in an adaptive way like basketball and tennis. In wheelchair basketball you can travel to other states and see more places and meet new people.

Second, I need a new chair because the one I got from Variety a couple years ago is now too small for me. Over the years I have grown and as I have grown the wheelchair started to push in on my hips. My mom can not afford to pay for one herself because they are very expensive, so we have come to you in hopes that you could give me a grant to get a new one. Me and my mom and coach have done all the measurements and things already so all we need is the grant.

Finally,wheelchair basketball is the biggest part of my life and I would hate to lose it now. All ask for a grant for this chair.I know giving grants is hard but I am sure I can convince you.I hope you consider giving me this grant so I can keep playing wheelchair basketball.

Sincerely,

Mac Summerfield, #35 KC Kings

Mac has Diastrophic Dysplasia, which is a rare form of dwarfism. Mac was born with bilateral club feet and has had multiple surgeries to correct his feet, knees, and hips to allow him some mobility to walk. Mac has also developed Amplified Pain Syndrome, which causes him chronic pain. Mac has limited mobility – he can walk short distances but also uses crutches and a walker. He uses a wheelchair at school and for longer distances. When you meet Mac for the first time, the first thing you will notice is his personality – he is kind, outgoing (after some initial shyness) and loves to be around people. While his disability does limit his mobility, it does not limit his ability to be a normal 12 year old. He wants to be out on the court playing basketball, tennis and in the pool with his friends.

Mac has been playing wheelchair basketball for almost 4 years. We found out about the program while attending a Variety KC ice skating event several years ago, where we met Mac’s coach. Since the very first practice, Mac has been hooked! Not only does he love playing the sport, but he has found a camaraderie with his teammates and coaches that he doesn’t have anywhere else. Everyone on the court has a disability, and none of them let it stop them from being competitive and having a great time. Mac has told me on more than one occasion how much he loves his team and how comfortable he feels around his coaches and friends. Being a part of this team not only allows Mac to play a competitive sport and learn sportsmanship skills he wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to learn, it’s also great for him to be physically active. With his Amplified Pain Syndrome, the more sedentary Mac is, the more pain he has when he does become active. Playing basketball or tennis each week is a great way for him to stay active and help keep the APS at bay.

Mac has such passion and drive and Variety KC partners will make it possible for him to keep participating in the sports he loves and needs. Won’t you help others to have the same opportunities? Donate today at www.varietykc.org/donate