Local brothers with Duchenne muscular dystrophy fundraise for accessible van


By Dawn Hatfield


GREENVILLE — Connor, Xander, and Jayden are three brothers under the age of 12 from Greenville, Ohio, living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive neuromuscular disorder that causes a loss of motor, pulmonary, and cardiac function. Each of the boys have autism and are cared for by their single mother, Rebecca (Becky) Partin. Together, the four make up the Partin-Rockwood family.

The family’s current vehicle, a small Blazer, is unfit for the boys who require wheelchairs and accessibility equipment. Getting to school, appointments, and other priorities is a major challenge for the family. Partin said, “We have to take apart their wheelchairs to fit in the Blazer and put them back together just to leave the house, so the routine of transporting everyone is very stressful. It is also painful for Connor to be lifted into and out of the Blazer as Duchenne muscular dystrophy breaks down muscle.”

With the boys growing bigger each day, Partin worries about her ability to continue successfully lifting them into and out of vehicles. “I only weigh 113 pounds, which is barely more than Connor,” she said. Partin explained that readying the family to leave takes nearly an hour to gather all the items and do all the prep work that is necessary. “It’s like taking home with me,” she said. Having the proper vehicle, an accessible transit-type van with lift, would allow this process to be much easier for everyone involved.

The vehicle needed by the Partin-Rockwell family costs nearly $80,000, which is not an amount Partin is able to finance at this time. After initially being denied from the Jett Giving Fund, Partin was ecstatic to learn that a large anonymous donation had opened the fund up to five additional families, hers being one of them.

Partin feels very grateful to be accepted into the Jett Giving Fund as she watches her boys struggle with Duchenne and autism each day. As participants in Jett Foundation’s Accessible Vehicle Fund branch of the Jett Giving Fund, the Partin-Rockwood Family will aim to raise at least half the funds ($37,500) needed for their accessible vehicle before Jett Foundation steps in to cover the remaining costs and purchase the vehicle outright.

“Due to their autism and muscular dystrophy, I try extra hard to engage them in social activities and attend things that are special to them,” said Partin. “An accessible vehicle will allow us to do that, but safely.”

Partin is currently hard at work organizing two upcoming fundraisers for her boys. The first, a poker run, is scheduled for Aug. 12, 2023, and will begin at either E&R’s Pub in Yorkshire or Cruizers Bar and Grill in Russia.

The second is a unique benefit horse show set for Sept. 16, 2023, at Kowboy Corral located at 7363 New Madison-Coletown Road, Greenville. Partin has only just begun acquiring donations for this event and already has over $700 in prizes, including an English riding saddle and 72 bottles of Mane ‘n Tail shampoo. In addition to donated prizes, there will be a 40 percent payout to the winners.

In addition to participating in the upcoming fundraiser events, readers can help Connor, Xander, and Jayden attain their freedom and independence by donating directly to the family’s Jett Giving Fund fundraiser today.

All donations to Jett Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowed under applicable law and is an unrestricted contribution to the Jett Giving Fund. When the family reaches their fundraising goal, Jett Foundation will cover the remaining costs and coordinate purchase and delivery of the vehicle.

When not at school, Connor, Xander, and Jayden enjoy playing video games and creating fictional characters with each other. The family looks forward to visiting museums, parks, and outdoor adventures in a safe manner when they receive their accessible vehicle.

Jett Foundation’s Accessible Vehicle Fund

Jett Giving Fund is Jett Foundation’s financial assistance program for families impacted by Duchenne muscular dystrophy who are in need of accessible vehicles or emergency support. As part of the Accessible Vehicle Fund, families fundraise half the funds needed or more for an accessible vehicle, and Jett Foundation covers the remaining costs once they reach their goal. Visit jettfoundation.org to learn more.

Reach Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.

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