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Hand Me Downs for a Good Cause

By Jennifer Reese, LEND Medicaid Programs Coordinator

If your child is like mine, with multiple medical diagnoses, you probably have medical equipment throughout your house. As your child outgrows these what do you do with them?
One local Eagle Scout candidate, Lance Larson, is collecting used, outgrown pediatric durable medical equipment and helping it find a new home.
Bridger's arm is around Lance and they both are smiling
Larson is the big brother of Bridger, who has a disability. They live with their parents, Cindy and Alan, and three sisters in Leesburg.
After collecting the equipment and deep cleaning each piece, Larson will deliver it to Children's Assistive Technology Service (CATS) in southern Virginia, a company that distributes the equipment to families that may not be able to afford it otherwise.  
Cathie Cummins, the founder of CATS, is a special person to the Larson Family. She was Bridger's first physical therapist.
“Lance is a remarkable young man, and has been from a very young age,” Cummins said. “As the oldest in a large family, he is that responsible and caring big brother, who is now looking to serve an even larger community, beyond his family. When around Lance, you can see that his generosity is genuine and selfless.”
She recently moved to southern Virginia and was shocked at the difference between our region and southern Virginia.  
“Much more rural, southwest and south central Virginia do not have all the resources available to those living in northern Virginia,” Cummins said.  “As a physical therapist who worked for nearly 30 years in Fairfax, then re-located to the southern part of the state two years ago, I am very aware of the discrepancy.  Having access to adaptive equipment in a timely fashion will help children with physical disabilities have more opportunities to learn, grow cognitively and socially, and participate more fully in life—and not be on the sidelines.”
Cummins is working to organize effective strategies for refurbishing and reassigning available equipment and devices, at no cost to families. 
“In our first year, we have served nearly 100 children,” Cummins said.

Volunteers with CATS inspect, clean, and repair all donated equipment, if needed. CATS also has therapists who volunteer and can aid with selection and fit. The donated equipment is stored at a clean, climate controlled, accessible facility just north of Rocky Mount, Virginia.
All pediatric durable medical and adaptive equipment is needed, but especially gait trainers and standers. You can email Larson to arrange delivery, pickup, or drop off location information. Donations will be collected until Sunday, Oct. 18.
ECNV also collects used durable medical equipment for redistribution in the community. If you have a donation or are in need of equipment, please contact Selvin Garcia. Our inventory varies greatly. At this time we have a number of bedside commodes, adult walkers, an adjustable over-the-bed table, a rollator with seat and basket, a Hoyer Manual Hydraulic Lift and a Jobst Stocking Donner.