Some of you know me, and most of you don't!
My name's Jonah Vandever, and here's my story!
Doctors told my mom that I would be born deaf, blind, and incapable of living a normal life. I came into this world with inverted knees, clubbed feet, and a missing forehead. Even with all the physical deformities, my mother loved me the same. She saw me as a special child who would grow up to inspire millions. At 18 months old, both my legs were amputated above the knees. Doctors said that I would never walk and that I'd spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair. Boy did I prove them wrong!
Two weeks after the surgery, I was walking across the living room floor with stitches at the bottom of my stumps! From 6 weeks of age to present day, I've had 33 surgical procedures, everything from brain surgeries, facial reconstruction, and gtubes in my stomach for feeding, to having my tongue sewn to my bottom lip to stop it from blocking my airway.
This is only the half of it...I can go on.
As you can imagine, I've had quite a few things wrong with me throughout my life. Over the years, I've been running around on many different forms of prosthetic limbs. I never let my physical limitations stop me from living the adventurous and exciting life that I desired to live. I continue to push myself to the limit and stay actively involved with activities such as running, hiking, biking, skiing, dirt biking, and Alpine skiing for adaptive sports in Massachusetts once every year for the past 7 years.
I’m a college student with a dream to become a motivational speaker so I can inspire the world with my story. My goal is to travel the world and bring hope to the hopeless and show the world that there is nothing that can stop us from achieving greatness and living a fulfilled life, not physical disabilities, deformities...not even missing limbs. I don’t have legs, so what?
Last year, Medicaid insurance denied me funds for computerized knees. Instead, they gave me the funding for manual knees which are supposed to be the top-of-the-the line mechanical knees designed to get me through my everyday activities. When I first began using them, I started developing some back issues. 2 days before I had to head back to college from break, I fell pretty hard due to the knees giving out on me and created such an injury that I felt like I was paralyzed. It was the most intense pain I have ever experienced.
Since the injury, insurance has provided no support for this. Bionic knees are pretty expensive, and there’s no way the insurance will budge because of my injury. I have decided to create a gogetfunding.com page to get as much financial support as I possibly can, so I can get back on my feet.
At the moment, I’m using donated knees from 3 amazing people who I can truly call family. The only downside to these knees is that the warranty on them has expired and there’s no way of getting them serviced once a year, which is required for the knees to stay intact.
I’m asking everyone I know, and for the people who may not know me at this moment, to support me for this, so I can get back to what I love doing, and live a fulfilled live again, without the pain created by having no knees.
With bionic knees, I will have the ability to be pain-free, participate in the tasks and activities that keep me in shape! I also help my mom in her daycare, so having to lift kids and carry them is something these knees are able to assist me with!
Through all this, I know God will provide whatever needs need to be met! He will guide me down the path I need to take to get to where he wants me in this. 🙂
I also want to thank you for taking the time to read this and I deeply appreciate it, if you would be a supporter in all this!