LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - A young man's life has been changed after community members helped fund a new wheelchair accessible vehicle.
Dylan Pickle Smith was born with cerebral palsy almost 24 years ago.
His mother, Vanessa Chalifoux said he has struggled with his weight for many years, because of a disease called Failure to Thrive.
"Almost five years ago he reached down to the weight of 54 pounds and was immediately hospitalized," said Chalifoux.
Dylan soon saw relief when he started attending a day service program in Lafayette called Shine On University.
"He's never progressed like he has in the last couple years, and Shine On University is a huge part of that," added Chalifoux.
Chalifoux says he is now the healthiest he has ever been, but with that, he soon became too heavy to be transported manually.
"It is a battle and by the end of it we're both hot and sweaty and usually either one of us is crying so we knew at that point we needed to do something," said Chalifoux.
Just recently Dylan and his family bought a new wheelchair accessible vehicle with money that was donated by several people.
"There are really good people in this community," stated Chalifoux. "Like, throughout all of the yuck that you see there are good people in this community,"
Shine On University CEO, Tammy Frost said she has seen tremendous growth in his size and ability to communicate.
"Since he's joined us he's really found his voice, he hollers and tells us what's going on - we can even get a clear word out of him," said Frost.