A few years ago, retired columnist Jewell Cardwell wrote about Casey Miller, a 13-year-old who suffered a spinal stroke, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.
On that March day in 2009, Casey went to school at Akron’s Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts and complained to the school nurse about a backache.
Casey’s mother, Maryann, came to the school and took her son to the hospital.
“He walked to the car and into the ER,” she noted. “But as he was being weighed, he fell back into my arms.”
Support from family, friends and strangers did wonders for the boy.
“Not a day went by, while he was hospitalized, that he didn’t receive a card, letter and even gifts from friends and strangers alike,” said Maryann. “It was such an uplifting thing for him and got him through many long weeks of being away from home.”
Wayne Homes, its trade partners, and the community donated time and some materials to complete an accessible bedroom and bathroom for the teen.
Because of that support, Casey, now 18, was able to push forward, graduating from Akron Alternative Academy earlier this month. So you are invited to his graduation party in honor of his accomplishments.
“I thought it might be nice to leave an open invitation to those people who supported him with their letters, came to his fundraisers, helped with the addition, brought meals and kept him, and us, in their prayers,” Maryann said. “It’s not about gifts; it’s about celebrating Casey and this very long journey.”
The graduation party is from 2 to 6 p.m. July 13 at the Mogadore Community Center, 3857 Mogadore Road.
Casey is currently focusing on finishing his driver’s training so he can get hand controls in his car. Like many of his peers, he’s undecided about a career path, but wants to explore options that include photography, business, public speaking and law.
The annual Tunnel of Thunder “Roarin’ for a Cure,” in support of Susan G. Komen Akron Race for the Cure, is 8 a.m. July 27.
The race starts at Firestone Stadium and ends at Firestone Country Club. Motorcycles should line up in front of Cliffside Key Club, 2118 S. Main St. Please “pink up your bike.” A French toast breakfast will be served to all participating motorcyclists and passengers.
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Veterans’ art show
The Vet Art Project will hold a one-day-only veterans’ art show at the Akron Art Museum on July 10. The show can be viewed 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with a special presentation at 5:30 p.m. featuring some of the artists.
The show includes visual art in various media, poetry, music, and therapeutic art, and is a collaboration between the Akron Art Museum, the Vet Art Project and Valor Home. The 5:30 p.m. program will include readings and a discussion with artists.
A resource table will feature information about organizations serving veterans and their families. Copies of “How to Witness Veterans’ Stories,” a handout of do’s and don’ts created by veterans and therapists, will be available as well as information about the Women Warriors Project, Red Bird Center, Valor Home, Pedals for Heroes, and more.
The Akron Art Museum is located at 1 S. High, Akron.
Kim Hone-McMahan can be reached at 330-996-3742 or email@example.com. Find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kim.honemcmahan.