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Chino Valley Review | Chino Valley, Arizona

home : features : features October 13, 2015

4/11/2012 9:29:00 AM
Chino Valley youth has a dream
Courtesy photoAl Willis and Don Polk of the Chino Valley Elks Lodge present a vocational scholarship to Jason Nance, center.
Courtesy photo

Al Willis and Don Polk of the Chino Valley Elks Lodge present a vocational scholarship to Jason Nance, center.

Diane DeHamer
Feature Writer

Chino Valley resident Jason Nance has a goal. He wants to walk in the processional at his graduation ceremony on May 25.

That may not sound like a big thing for most, but Jason has cerebral palsy, and has been in a wheelchair all of his 18 years.

During his young life Jason underwent much therapy and many surgeries. When he first started the physical therapy, he was very rigid and his therapist didn't think he would ever walk.

In November 2009, Jason had hip replacement surgery at Phoenix Children's Hospital.

"Jason insisted on standing while in the hospital," said his mother Jackie.

"I did stand, and it felt so good, I am determined to walk," Jason added.

He started exercising on a treadmill, suspended by straps from the ceiling. At first, he was able to walk just a few feet, but now he has increased his distance to four miles with a walker.

"I walk around Parkside Village, my neighborhood, and I walk one period a day at school," Jason said.

He attends Chino Valley High School, which he loves, and refuses to miss a day.

"Jason is all boy. He loves an extreme adrenaline rush. He wants to jump out of planes, race cars, and go off-roading, it just breaks my mommy heart," Jackie said.

Being a typical 18-year-old, Jason does admit to a vice.

"I love to smoke cigars with my dad and my cousin," he said with a grin.

Jason and his family cannot believe the achievement he has made since his operation.

"After his hip surgery, Jason started the medication Baclofen, which helps with his spastic muscles," Jackie explained.

A few months after his surgery, Jackie convinced his therapist to come out and reevaluate Jason.

"After reassessing him the therapist said 'he's a new kid!'" After the surgery and the new medication, Jason was treatable, and since his hip was replaced he has gained 20 pounds and grown approximately six inches," said Jackie.

Jason also achieved another milestone in his life. On April 4 the Chino Valley Elks awarded him a scholarship for vocational training.

"It was a lot of paperwork. I had to write a letter why I should be awarded the scholarship and get two letters of recommendation from my school and from the community, and a letter from my mom and dad on how they will help me achieve my goals," Jason said.

Jason is a very ambitious young man with dreams for his future.

"I want to be a motivational speaker, and in five years I want to be able to support myself financially and live on my own. Of course I will need a caregiver to help me with my physical needs," he said.

Jason gives credit to his mother for all his physical achievements. Of course he has low points in his life too.

"When I feel like giving up my dad and my grandpa are my drill sergeants. At those times I also listen to my CD of the Bible, that is my motivation," Jason.

He and his family have worked hard and done a lot of praying for him to reach his physical goals.

"To not have ever walked before, after all the therapy and surgeries, and then to have a surgery at the age of 16 and be walking today is truly a miracle," said Jackie.

Jason is on track to reach his first goal, so look for him to walk into Chino Valley High's graduation on May 25.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, April 27, 2012
Article comment by: Jackie Nance

It saddens me to think that an article about my son would be commented on by someone who would in some way tarnish the very essence of what this story is about... His strength, determination, success and the miracle of a young man that he is!

It takes a village to raise a child. Love, support, family and friends are instrumental in the raising of any child but never so necessary as when raising a child with special needs.

Prior to moving to Arizona when my husband and I remarried 4 years ago I did it entirely on my own and for the 13 years prior so I appreciate the extra help from family and caregivers. I'm appreciative of the time and benefits by existing programs that afford us the luxury of paying a caregiver to be our extra set of hands to provide care for our son or take him to appointments any other typical 19 year old would have been able to attend by themselves.

I'm one of those who have dedicated the majority of my adult life to caring for not only my son with special needs but also teaching and caring for others. A choice I made after having my son. Not because there were handouts or "attaboys" along the way but because ir was what I've been lead to do. I can only hope that those that have reached out, supported, helped or in some way assisted our son in achieving successes in his live have done it for the simply joy of giving and not to get 15 minutes of fame!

Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012
Article comment by: Chino Newbie


Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Article comment by: Sherry Kammer

Jason is a true inspiration and so is his mother, Jackie! The power of prayer, love and determination speak volumes for this family. Well done, Jason! <3

Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Article comment by: Barbara Smitjh

Enjoyed this well written article. This young man and his family must have alot of help. It is a shame they were not mentioned in the article, It is the thoughtfulness and caring of those individuals and organizations who give so much of their time and support to help these kids reach their goals. Perhaps the whole story needs to be told.

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