High School Team Built Powered Wheelchair for 2-year-old Boy. Born with a Genetic Condition that makes Mobility Difficult.

High School Team Built Powered Wheelchair for 2-year-old Boy. Born with a Genetic Condition that makes Mobility Difficult.

March 30, 2021 by Cathy Stack

Farmington, MN - Students on the prize-winning Rogue Robotics team at Farmington High School built a unique motorized vehicle for one very special 2-year-old boy named Cillian Jackson. He was born with a genetic condition that makes mobility difficult. Thanks to these ambitious and compassionate students, Cillian, now has his very own wheels to travel around on.

The project’s inception began when Cillian’s father, Tyler, was brainstorming a way to help provide his son with the best childhood possible. Cillian’s genetic condition delays his physical and cognitive development, which makes him immobile.  The couple knew a power wheelchair would help their son tremendously.  However, the family could not afford the wheelchair’s cost of more than $20,000, which their insurance would not cover. That was when Cillian’s father got creative.  He reached out to a robotics team at his old high school, seeking their help to create a similar type of vehicle for his son. 

The high school team, Rogue Robotics, first heard about the unique project at one of their weekly team meetings.  “You know what—that would be a very good idea,” one of the team members recalled saying about the prospect of taking on the challenging project.  The team agreed to the mission without hesitation.

They began building the vehicle by modifying a Power Wheels toy, then adding a seat, a harness and a custom joystick using a 3D printer.  Knowing exactly how the vehicle would be used motivated the team and gave them a renewed sense of purpose. Incredibly, it was built in less than a month. Cillian was now a little boy joyfully on the move. The child is now able to do things he would not be able to do otherwise.  Cillian spends hours gleefully chasing the family’s two Corgis around in his new battery-powered vehicle. 

“It has been really cool doing such an amazing project,” said one team member. “I think we won here more than we do at our competition,” added another. 

The Jackson family returned to the school to visit the team that made their son’s mobility possible.  The students beamed as they watched in awe while the boy demonstrated his driving skills for them. Team members were thrilled to see how their hard work resulted in such a positive impact in Cillian’s life.  

The parents are grateful to the team for their toddler’s new mobility.  Cillian’s mom, Krissy, could hardly believe her eyes.  “They have helped so much.  It really helps him explore like he has never been able to before,” she said.  She laughed, watching him maneuver his new vehicle.  His father said the chair’s benefits are immeasurable, as it has given Cillian a sense of control.   

What first seemed like an insurmountable problem for the family was solved by a combination of customized technology and the young students’ tenacity and compassion.  PassItOn and The Foundation for a Better Life believe the Rogue Robotics team members are young heroes for using their skills in such a good cause. Their actions demonstrate the value of  ingenuity. Their hard work resulted in the improvement of the quality of a young child’s life.  They have given back to Cillian a priceless, magical part of his childhood.  Please help us honor these young heroes by sharing their inspiring story. 

Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/VhpAsxyIsr8

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Your Comments
Lynise Tarring from Hilo, Hawai'i  APRIL 22, 2022
God Bless each and every one of you for your sincerity in giving hope to a child to live his life. Thank you deeply.

Kaydience Brundage from Washington graham frontier middle school  APRIL 7, 2021
Tell them thx they are Very kind for doing that

Mare McAnany from Philadelphia, PA  APRIL 5, 2021
The joy on Cillian's sweet little face is a blessing. This dear little boy shows all of us, even in these troubled times, that love & caring & determination can make a world of difference. The gifted students on the Rogue Robotics team will be a part of the Jackson family forever. This little joyful boy has inspired each of them as they move forward to the rest of their lives. Their caring hearts led them in an effort that shows all of us our world is blessed by the pure goodness of these outstanding young students of the Rogue Robotics team. Thank you to PassItOn for sharing this special story.

Mike Haboush from Sedona, AZ APRIL 3, 2021
Caring about others never goes out of style. Thanks to PassItOn for sharing.

Lynda from Pennsylvania MARCH 31, 2021
What a heartwarming story! Love you.

Mariana Miller-D'Alessandro from Bronx, New York MARCH 30, 2021
Amazing story - we need to spread the miracle of a H.S. tech. club who researched and build this amazing seat/wheel chair for a family's child with genetic disability. We need to spread this miracle news -- inspiration to us all.! God bless the tech team, God bless the dear family, and God bless PassItOn for sharing this miracle! mariana

Francesca Bonsignori from Bridgeport, CT MARCH 30, 2021
Just beautiful!

A Gramma from Des Plaines, Il. MARCH 30, 2021
Rogue Robotics this is so fantastic!!! Cillian’s smile says it all! Proud of each one of you! I have a 5 year old grandson that has a wheel chair and he gets around like a champ! So I know how much happiness you have brought this little boy. You have already made a huge difference!

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