From preaching to pleading: Man in need of new wheelchair

Posted at 9:52 PM, Mar 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-06 21:52:26-05

MUIR, Mich.-- Jacob Garber of Muir isn't letting his wheelchair define him. Garber has cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that makes it difficult for him to move, but that doesn't stop him from giving back.

"You've got to get out and live life," he says.

Garber spends his days helping others by volunteering, hosting youth group activities, and preaching Sunday mornings at the First Christian Church of Muir.

But there's a problem: his wheelchair can no longer keep up.

"It's about six years old, and it's seen better days," Garber said, "Without my chair, my mobility is severely impaired."

A new wheelchair would include a built-in lift and would give Jacob more traction in the snow.

It could also cost the Garbers more than $22,000.

Jacob's father, Gary, tells FOX 17 his son needs a new wheelchair to help Jacob do what he loves: giving back to others, from volunteering in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, preaching, or helping kids with their homework.

"It’s going to give him the opportunity to let him do things he has difficulty with," Gary said, "It’s gotta be replaced with something that helps him do the things that everybody else can do."

"As I was going through college, I took a group of people to New Orleans after Katrina, Jacob said. "What we did down there was go through houses and go through the demolition process so they could rebuild. I’ve always been community-minded, trying to help people."

To do that, Jacob will need the community he's so used to helping to lend him a hand instead.

"If you can’t do your daily routine and make a difference, what is the point in living?" Jacob asked.

"Normally, I’m the type of person who’s helping other people, to be on the other end of that it’s kind of humbling," Jacob said.

A benefit dinner is set to take place at First Christian Church of Muir on Saturday, March 12, in addition to a silent auction and bake sale to help Jacob raise money for his new chair.

The event starts at 4:00 and goes until 7:00 p.m.

There is also a GoFundMe page for donations.