LEE'S SUMMIT — A 4-year-old Lee's Summit boy, born with a limb difference, has been using a toy truck to help him complete a routine task. Now, his family has partnered with a Texas nonprofit to make that task easier.
"He really figures everything out himself," Rachel Flores said of her adopted son, Henry. "We just try and give him the opportunity to learn."
After having four children of their own, Flores and her husband decided to adopt three more, all of whom have medical needs. Henry was their first, adopted at 11-days old. His arms stop at his elbows and his legs at his knees.
Flores said Henry wants to be “very independent,” including using the bathroom, which has been his most recent hurdle. He solved that dilemma by using a toy truck as a step, then using his face to get on top of the toilet by himself.
"We tried step-stools and all different things and then one day he just wheeled in and used it to climb up and we went, 'OK, he found his own way,” Rachel said.
The only thing standing in the way of Henry using the bathroom independently without his toy truck is a $10,000 upgrade that Rachel said insurance does not cover.
"We've just been trying to be creative like him and figure out a way to fund it,” Rachel said.
That’s when she reached out to Chive Charities, which specializes in helping people with rare medical diagnoses, first responders and veterans. The nonprofit provided a grant to the family that covered new flooring and silicon liners for Henry's lower limbs. Chive Charities also will launch a flash campaign on Wednesday, in which the public can help the Flores family raise an additional $10,000 for the cost of the bathroom renovation.
"It kind of hurts my heart a little bit that he has to struggle in the meantime,” Rachel said. ”We don't want some thing like using the bathroom to hold him back and burst his confidence."