High school robotics students build power wheelchair for 2-year-old


(KARE) — In need of a costly power wheelchair for their son, the parents of 2-year-old Cillian Jackson turned to an unlikely source. Teenagers.

Thanks to the robotics team at Minnesota’s Farmington High School, Cillian now has his ride – a functioning power wheelchair hand-built from a Power Wheels riding toy.

“These kids took time out of their busy schedules to do this for our son,” said Cillian’s mother, Krissy Jackson. “We’re so grateful.”

Cillian was born with a genetic condition that makes mobility difficult. “He has an especially hard time controlling his body. He has a lot of symptoms you’d see in someone who has cerebral palsy,” said Tyler Jackson, Cillian’s father.

Tyler Jackson reached out to the robotics team at his former high school after he realized an actual power wheelchair would cost prohibitive for his family and unlikely to be covered by insurance due to Cillian’s young age. 

Farmington robotics coach Spencer Elvebak says there was no hesitation by his students. 

“I brought it up to the kids at a meeting, ‘Is this something we want to step up and do?'” Elvebak recalled. 

The sentiment was unanimous. Yes! 

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