Small Town Helping Young Man With Duchenne See Australia

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by Wendy Henderson |

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When James Baxter-O’Shea and his family moved from suburban Sydney to a small country town called Oberon, they were overwhelmed by the welcome they received.

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However, since the family’s 18-year-old minivan’s so unreliable, the 21-year-old found that he was spending more and more time trapped inside watching television or playing computer games. Having Duchenne muscular dystrophy means that the vehicle is James’ lifeline to the outside world and for someone who is desperate to travel and see more of his homeland, a reliable vehicle is a necessity.

According to a report on, in addition to the poor condition of the minivan, James’ mom  has arthritis in her back and has difficulty strapping him into the van. What the family needs is a customized mobility vehicle that can accommodate James’ wheelchair.

This is where the residents of his community stepped up to help. The local Oberon Rotary Club decided they would hold fundraising events to raise enough money to buy James a fully customized vehicle. So far, the club has managed to raise $10,000 of the $70,000 needed and hopes to raise the full amount by Christmas so James can begin traveling.

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