A little boy and his grandparents will have a slightly more convenient life thanks to All Things Possible Ministries and the generosity of some Rock Hill residents.
On Giving Tuesday, Fort Mill-based All Things Possible Ministries presented two-year-old Ryley Hufford and his grandparents, Cindy and James Hufford of Rock Hill, with a special P-Pod chair, designed to help make feedings and mobility easier for Ryley.
Ryley was born with 1P36 deletion syndrome, a rare disorder in which he is missing genetic material from one of his 46 chromosomes. As a result he suffers with digestion problems, low muscle tone and scoliosis, his grandmother said.
Ryley is about seven months old developmentally and weighs 17 pounds, Cindy Hufford said. He wears a body cast to help strengthen his spine, but cannot walk, stand, sit, talk or crawl.
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Through a Nov. 12 fundraiser at Michael’s Rock Hill Grille, community donations came to $6,500. The money was used to buy the chair, which will provide support and mobility. It also will ease stress on James and Cindy who, until Tuesday, carried Ryley and slept in shifts to provide the child with constant monitering.
“Carrying him around is one thing, but arms only provide so much support,” James Hufford said.
When she saw the chair, Cindy cried.
“We appreciate it. Ryley appreciates it,” she said.
Due to a malformed pallet, allergies and a digestive disorder caused by his condition, Ryley is difficult to feed. The P-Pod chair will hold him in the proper position and allow the Huffords to bring him to the table where they can eat together.
“This is going to be so beneficial,” James said. “I don’t have the right words to say. We appreciate everything.”
The money also will go to help purchase a cranial band helmet to help Ryley avoid life-threatening surgery due to his brain shifting, his grandmother said.
“It’s going to be such a helpful thing for us and comfortable for Ryley,” she said.
Medicaid would not cover the chair or helmet, so fundraising was a necessity, Cindy Hufford said.
“We had no idea it would be such a wonderful thing, people donating to Ryley’s cause,” she said.
A life of changing diapers, constant feedings and very little sleep isn’t how the Huffords, both former Marines, thought they would spend their retirement. However, they have taken on the challenge since they got custody of Ryley at 7 months old.
“It takes a toll. They have no time for themselves,” said Lisa Sextion, All Things Possible executive director.
Sexton said Giving Tuesday was the perfect day to present the chair. That day is set aside as a worldwide event to encourages generosity.
“It’s just one of those things that came together so easily," she said. “Seeing the appreciation and the tears even, it’s a special gift.”
All Things Possible got involved as the organization hosts medical fundraisers for families like the Huffords, Sexton said.
“The families we adopt, we stay with them," she said. “We make it personal because it is personal. These are people’s lives that can be changed for the better if someone just brings it to the attention of the community. That’s why we do what we do.”
Want to help?
To donate to All Things Possible and support future medical fundraisers, visit allthingspossible.org.