GREENWOOD, SC – Even though Christmas seems to have become about shopping, getting the latest new gadget and bumping retailers into the black, the Christmas spirit remains strong. Watching someone’s tears of gratitude stream down their face still remains more satisfying than getting the latest Apple product. For one Ninety Six family, those tears of gratitude came after receiving something that they needed for their four-year-old child.
Hope and Brandon Davis had no idea how much their lives would change when their son, Brantley, was born four years ago. Even after he was diagnosed with autism in April 2001, they had no idea how he would impact their lives.
“It’s definitely a challenge,” Hope Davis said of raising her son. “We’ve had to make a lot of changes since we had Brantley, but I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world.”
One of the biggest changes came when Hope lost her job due to missing so much time taking Brantley to doctor appointments and caring for him in general. Though her husband, Brandon, works, going from two incomes to one is challenging for any family, especially one with a special needs child.
Though just four years old, Brantley weighs 50 pounds and is quite the handful when he has to be taken to crowded public places. He has gotten too big for his parents to carry him all the time. The family needs a special stroller designed for special needs children. The problem – they cost in excess of $500, which is a lot of money for a family adjusting to the loss of an income.
Hope contacted Caring for the Carolinas, a project that teams up with Heart Step, an organization that serves as a liaison between those in need and those willing to help, as part of the 25 Wishes program that grants wishes throughout the month of December. The Davis’ simple wish: a stroller they can’t afford to help with a situation they can’t avoid.
Jack Roper of WSPA channel 7 in Greenville visited Hope and Brantley Thursday morning for what they thought was an interview to determine if they would be selected to receive their wish. Instead, Roper presented the family with a certificate saying that their stroller had been ordered and was on its way to their home. The segment aired Friday morning on “My Carolina.”
“I was surprised,” Hope said of receiving the stroller. “I thought it was just an interview that would be taken back to their committee to see if we would be selected. When they told me they had already ordered the stroller I cried.”
For many residents of Upstate South Carolina, Christmas really is still about giving.