By April Burkhart
Marquis Potts once got around using the equivalent of a stroller. Were Marquis a toddler, that might not raise any eyebrows. But the Athens boy started using the contraption as a 4-year-old and only recently, at age 12, did he graduate to a more ideal machine to help him cope with his cerebral palsy.
While the initial chair Marquis used provided the mobility assistance he needed, his mother said it was beginning to hinder his independence.
“He will be 13 years old in July and he’s getting to an age where he’s going to want to go out with his friends or ride the city bus to go somewhere without his parents having to push him everywhere,” Marquis’ mom, Alison Potts, said.
The family has been shopping for wheelchairs, Potts said, but the one-piece wheelchairs they wanted required a vehicle heavy enough to support a wheelchair lift. After trading in their lightweight Kia for a truck, Potts and her husband, Marsh, began saving money to have a wheelchair lift installed.
That’s when they got the call from Pilgrim’s Pride, a Barber Street poultry processing plant, saying the company wanted to help Marquis get a new wheelchair.
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