SUNBURY – A Valley teenager will finally receive a big boost to use his arms more effectively, thanks to many community efforts. The campaign, ‘Raise an Arm for Caleb’ for Caleb Hallman, a sophomore at Shikellamy High School, reached its goal of being able to purchase a robotic arm.
Hallman was born with Arthrogryposis in his arms and legs. Hallman’s mom Jacinta says the disease doesn’t give Caleb the ability to bend in his joints, “He can’t bend at the elbow like we do, and his hands are in a position that are kind of bent inward, so he doesn’t have the range of the wrist at all to reach things.”
But a few years ago Hallman and his mom Jacinta found a robotic arm called a JACO, “It’s a robotic arm that will be attached to his wheelchair. It has limbs where it can bend and reach and it also has three fingers that allow something as small as a gold fish to be picked up off the floor.”
But the cost was $53,000, so Hallman and his mom held some fundraisers to help cover the cost. The family raised $34,000 total, most of it coming from a spaghetti dinner held last March.
Then late last month, the family was told members from the Degenstein Foundation applied for grant to cover the rest of the cost. It was a great surprise to the family, “It just seemed like such a huge amount of money and to be able to have gotten to this point where we’ve actually fulfilled that has been overwhelming. We just can’t thank the community enough. The community’s really stepped up and really helped us out when we didn’t think it was actually possible.”
Caleb’s family is now waiting for the funding to fall together, then after ordering the JACO it will take 6 weeks to be delivered. As a student at Shikellamy, Hallman serves as a manager for the football team.