High schoolers create a special surprise for children with disabilities

Posted at 9:19 PM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-05 07:49:37-04

CINCINNATI -- A group of Lakota East High School students visited at Cincinnati Children's on Thursday and personally delivered a heartwarming handmade surprise to a pair of toddlers with disabilities.

"I felt pure joy in my heart," said Albert Cho, one of the students. "It was a blessing to be here today."

Cho and his classmates, all of whom participate in engineering programs through Butler Tech, built two custom mini-cars for local toddlers Jase and Remington to help them play and socialize more easily with their peers. The cars, according to a news release to the hospital, are a "cost-effective alternative to motorized wheelchairs" that allow the two boys greater independence in exploring their world.

"It's a huge thing you gave him, so thank you," said Jase's mother through tears. "Thank you so much."

The students worked closely with therapists to build a car that was truly custom-made for each boy, down to his interests, size and the physical adaptations he would need to operate the little vehicle. And in case the boys get too adventurous, both cars have a parental override system that can allow an adult to steer or stop the car.

"I felt we're helping them move more, get out and play with other kids," said Emily Willms, who helped build the cars.

For Remington's mother, Melanie Willman, it's heartening to see her son smile as he zooms around.

"It's really cool to see him work stuff like that, 'cause you know he's in there," she said.