Cleveland Boy Needs Your Help Winning Wheelchair Accessible Van

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 5/09/2013 10:04 am
Caryn Bledsoe, a teacher at Taylor Elementary School, says, "Look at that smile. How could you not love that?"

People who know Skyler Bates, 9, know there's a sparkle in his eye that doesn't go away even if does have Cerebral Palsy and is confined to a wheelchair.

Bledsoe adds, "He's always smiling."

But that sparkle does shine a little less now.

His younger brothers, River and Leland Bates, died last summer from hyperthemia.

His mother, Natasha Bates, now sits behind bars.

She is accused of leaving them in a hot car.

Linda Bates, Skyler's grandmother, says, "He needs something good to happen. He had so many bad things happen this year. So, it's time for him to have something good happen."

And that "something good" family members hope will come in the form of a wheelchair accessible van.

Bates adds, "As Skyler gets bigger, it gets harder to transfer him from the wheelchair to the car, break the wheelchair down, and put it in my little focus."

That has caused Skyler to miss more events and church sermons than he would like.

Sherry Shroyer, the Principal at Taylor Elementary School, says, "He keeps trying. He doesn't give up or give in."

Bledsoe adds, "He loves life. He can't get around like most of us, but yet he wants to do everything."

That freedom is attainable.

Skyler just has to win a contest put on by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association.

The more votes he gets, the better chance he has of winning a specially equipped van.

Bates adds, "I cannot even put into words. It would change his life."

What his grandmother cannot put into words, Skyler can.

Skyler says, "Just please vote for me."

For all the details on how to vote for Skyler, just go to

You have to hurry, voting ends on Friday at midnight.

There are about 1,200 entries.

The top five percent move on.

An independent panel of judges will ultimately decide which three enteries win a vehicle.

We also want to add that May is national mobility awareness month.
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bryansgirl26 - 5/9/2013 9:50 AM
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bless his heart, I pray he gets that wheelchair accessible van that he needs.

bryansgirl26 - 5/9/2013 9:50 AM
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