By Deanne Stein (NEWS 9)
WEATHERFORD, Oklahoma - A community has wrapped its arms around a young boy from Ethiopia.
He was adopted by a family in Weatherford and shortly after diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy. Now, a group of high school students wants to help him fund a life-changing surgery.
Nothing holds back 5-year-old Nate Shaw. Watching him at the Burcham Elementary School playground in Weatherford, he has the energy and will of any kid his age, but his little body doesn't always catch up.
“He does fall a lot,” said Jamie Shaw, his adopted mother. “He gets right back up and keeps on moving.”
He's come a long way to get here, though. Billy and Jamie Shaw adopted him in 2013 from Ethiopia. When he first arrived in Oklahoma, he was malnourished. He’s also had multiple surgeries to fix his crossed eyes and feet.
“He can't stand for very long and balance,” Jamie said. “His legs are bent; his tendons are so tight that he can't stretch his legs enough to keep them straight.”
Up until a month ago, he spent most of his life in wheelchairs and casts.
When asked what he can do now that his braces are gone, he said “Get on my tire swing on top. I feel like a human.”
However, his cerebral palsy symptoms still linger so the family wants to take him to California for a surgery to help him walk better.
“With this surgery, it's going to ease up on his muscles a little bit and they think it's going to help him the rest of his life,” said Jamie Shaw.
The Weatherford High School Key Club wants to help with his medical expenses. They've planned a 5K walk/run at Rader Park in his honor. Nate will attend with his classmates but he said he doesn't plan to walk it.
“I'm gonna race it, nobody's gonna beat me,” Nate said.
“The fact that they're willing to give of themselves like that and they are willing to help him out,” Jamie Shaw said. “It means a lot.”
The 5K walk/run is 9 a.m. on April 1 and is open to public. You can register at the park for $25 or you can send in a monetary donation. For more information, contact Jane Cole at (580) 774-7219.