Hoskins family continues fight for Zion
Chelsea and Paul Hoskins have watched their son, Zion, grow up knowing that he will never be able to walk or stand on his own. In the past year there have been several fundraisers in place to aid them in funding Zion's medical bills.
The couple is reaching out to the community once again, asking for help as they try to raise money to equip their van so Zion can use a power chair instead of a manual one.
In May 2010 Zion was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy or SMA. Zion's daily life now consists of being hooked up to a vest to help him breathe as well as a cough assisting machine, a suction machine, a pulse oximeter and breathing treatments. Each day Zion starts his half-hour treatments at 8:30 a.m. When speaking of Zion, Chelsea explained, "He will eventually get scoliosis and his back is already starting to curve so it hurts him a lot."
The family recently was able to provide their son with a back brace to help hold off the scoliosis.
The family was also able to provide Zion with a stationary stander.
"It's a large piece of equipment which we strap him into and it allows him to stand for about 20 to 30 minutes a day," explains Chelsea. This stander helps with his digestion, elimination, respiration and circulation throughout his body.
As of now, Zion travels to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital twice a year for check-ups. Even with this routine Zion and the family still remain hopeful. He is a bright and social child who loves to show off how well he can do push-ups and play with his toys.
Chelsea and Paul recently brought a new member into the family, a daughter named Zoe. The family earlier admitted to the fear that their daughter could have the same disease as her brother Zion. However, Zoe is just fine.
"She's a carrier but she doesn't have it," Paul explained, smiling as he watches his daughter crawl on the floor. "She should grow up to be a bright and healthy kid."
The Hoskins family is determined to keep Zion's life as normal as possible. After Zion turns three years old on Nov. 9 he will begin attending a public school.
"He doesn't really get out much. I want him to have a social aspect but I'm still worried," explained Chelsea.
The fear of bullying is a big concern. But the family has chosen to send Zion to public school first and if that does not work out he will be home schooled.
The Fight for Zion walk/run is an event to help fund the family's goal to equip their van so Zion is able to use a power chair rather than his manual one. The family currently has two ramps that weigh close to 450 pounds that were passed down from others in the family.
However, these ramps are too heavy for Chelsea to deal with, along with two kids. This forces Zion to use his manual chair.
"He becomes fatigued quicker, which forces us to have to push him," explains Chelsea.
Allowing Zion to be able to do things on his own is important to the family.
"A power chair would allow him to be more independent," Chelsea said.
SAWS Charity recently built the family a ramp outside of their home so Zion would be able to use his chair to easily get to and from the house. They hope for their son to have as normal of a life as possible, allowing him to have as many experiences as possible.
To keep Zion as independent as they would like they are holding the second annual Fight for Zion walk, which will take place on Oct. 1 at Big Walnut Sports Park. Pre-registration has already started and will continue until Sept. 21. The cost to register is $15 and will go to $20 the day of the event. Shirts can also still be purchased through their Facebook page or at the event.
Paul's sister and brother-in-law, Melissa and Kyle Ames, will once again handle the fundraiser. For more information about the walk, call 720-0627.