MAPLE RIDGE – Compassion led the way for a group of Grade 7 and 8 students at North Dundas District Intermediate School (NDDIS) recently, when they donated more than $500 to a former student confined to a wheelchair.

Local resident Patricia Cumming, 32, was born with a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis, which causes tumours to form on tissue in the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. She also has been living with uncontrolled epilepsy, which can mean she experiences up to 20 seizures in one day.

On Fri., Dec. 1, Grade 7 and 8 students at North Dundas District Intermediate School (NDDIS) donated $510 to local resident Patricia Cumming – who was born with a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis – so she can purchase a wheelchair accessible lift. Press Photo – Gosselin

Each year, NDDIS students who are part of the WEB leader team choose to support initiatives at both the local and global level.

When they became aware of Cumming’s condition and increasing medical costs, the group hosted a Halloween dance to generate proceeds for her and her family.

Currently, Cumming and her family are trying to raise money for a new wheelchair accessible lift to help Cumming become more independent in her travels, which can cost up to $18,000.

WEB leaders created a PowerPoint presentation for the school to educate students on Cumming’s obstacles, and how the donated funds would be used to help a local cause.

Since September, there have been various community fundraisers rallying behind the Cumming family, as well as a YouCaring page to encourage donations.

“With all the support from the community, we will be able to order the lift next week,” said Cumming’s mother, Sandra, who is also her full-time caregiver. “We are so excited… It will make life so much easier.”