Special Wish Foundation offers help

SCIO – The Special Wish Foundation is continuing its work to help children who are battling ailments and who are in need of help from a caring community. Recently it completed a project to benefit 13-year-old Aaryn McAfee of Scio who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and deals with issues including blindness, seizures and autism.

“We can make a life a lot easier for the parents to take care of, if there’s anything we can do to help remedy that by making it more handicap-accessible for taking care of him,” said Dr. John Mattox, president of the foundation’s local chapter, serving sites in West Virginia and Ohio, and chair of the corporate office. “What we decided to do as an organization was do a mini-renovation of his bedroom.”

The renovation included amenities to better allow Aaryn to have increased mobility and otherwise circumvent inconveniences in his daily living. Mattox credited numerous individuals, organizations and businesses for donating their time and their products.

“I’ve had an awful lot of people who have helped,” he said.

Aaryn is treated at Harrison Community Hospital and Cleveland Clinic. His doctor was required to give a release stating he was in need of supervision before the project could move forward.

“Basically what we try to do is give the mother a better opportunity for supervising her son,” Mattox said.

“It was a huge, huge change,” said Trisha May, mother of Aaryn. “It was definitely better than what I had.”

She added that she first heard of the foundation from Mattox while contacting organizations for help. She added that Aaryn’s room now has new flooring, ceiling, drywall, paint and a ceiling fan.

“The improvements were amazing,” she said. “I think it’s a great resource. It helps families in need.”

She noted that Aaryn now enjoys greater mobility and convenience.

“It’s safer too,” she said. “The Special Wish Foundation is just a wonderful organization that I recommend.”

Donations have come from Sherwin Williams; Famous Supply; Tim’s Custom; Ohio Valley Building Products; Farmer’s Supply; Ben Wood; 84 Lumber; Max Construction; Interim Healthcare Southeast; and George Hails.

Mattox also thanked Gary Helms, who spearheaded the construction and organized gifts in kind from related donors. Mattox noted there were many who gave in-kind donations.

Thanks also went to the Ohio Valley Christian Soldiers for a recent donation of $1,000.

“We have a lot of community people participating,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about: have community people like Gary Helms’ home improvement company.”

Donors were present during a visit Dec. 16. The event included Special Wish Board Members Steve Fortunato, Nancy Toto and Larry Bandy.

All of the chapters give about 300 wishes yearly. Mattox said the local chapter is currently considering a five-year-old St. Clairsville child. A Special Wish projects include renovation projects and vacation trips.

For more information, contact Mattox at (740) 968-2080.