The story of a New Zealand boy is warming the hearts of people throughout the world. Seven-year-old Chase Pinnell has a rare condition known as multicentric carpotarsal osteolysis, a disorder that results in the breakdown of bones. Unable to walk or even bend his elbows, Chase must use a 500-pound wheelchair. Faced with the burden of this heavy wheelchair, the Pinnell family was hard-pressed to find a vehicle large enough to transport Chase to school and his medical treatments. Seeing the family’s dilemma firsthand, teachers and administrators at Chase’s school, Bluestone School in Timaru, came up with the idea to host a fundraiser to buy a van with a hoist lift to help Chase with his mobility needs.
Ian Poulter, principal of Bluestone School, told reporters that initial estimates for Chase’s van were between $15,000 and $20,000. When news of Chase’s need reached social media, there was an outpouring of donations from the community. In less than a week, the school raised over $13,000. While most of the donations came from a Givealittle page set up by the school, others came from different sources, including one check in the amount of $5,000 and another in the amount of $500. Local businesses also lent a hand. Arkane Tattoo, whose owners are friends to the Pinnell family, gave all the profits they made last Saturday to the van fund, totaling an additional $2,950.
Chase’s parents, Ethan and Juanita, are incredibly humbled and thankful for all the tremendous outpouring of generosity and concern for their son. Speaking to reporters during charity events, Juanita said that Chase had been diagnosed with multicentric carpotarsal osteolysis when he was just two years old, and that the disorder has also damaged Chase’s eyesight. While there is currently no cure for multicentric carpotarsal osteolysis, Juanita says that most of Chase’s treatments are intended to stop the condition from causing any further damage to Chase’s skeletal system.