It was a double-special birthday for a local boy with a rare brain disorder. Kelan Masinelli's tenth birthday party at the Wildey Theater in Edwardsville Saturday also marked the beginning of his fundraiser for a new wheelchair swing.
Kelan loves spending time at the park, but his parents say the older he gets, the more challenging it is to get him on a swing.
"He loves to swing, has always loved to swing, but since he's in a wheelchair and getting much bigger, we are unable to take him out as easily," Kelan's mom, Jamie Masinelli, said.
A wheelchair swing would help.
"It gives Kelan an opportunity to be just like every other child," Masinelli said.
Kelan's parents are partnering with the Make a Wish Foundation. The plan is to add a wheelchair swing to the Boundless Playground at Township Park in Edwardsville. At the party, around 160 friends, family members, and strangers dropped off donations.
"It is huge and overwhelming and we're so grateful and thankful that this cause means something to them, and that's the point of our wish, too, is to give this also to the community so that others like Kelan can enjoy this swing hopefully for many years to come," Masinelli said.
The goal is to raise $35,000 for the swing and equipment that goes with it. The community raised around $4,000 Saturday.
To make a donation, visit the Make Kelan’s Wish Come True Facebook page.