California mom Aubrey Allred would love to get a wheelchair for her 2-year-old paralyzed son, Crue, but her insurance company says no.
Aubrey told Fox News that Crue currently gets around in a Zipzac, a miniature wheelchair. But the Zipzac sits very low to the ground and gets stuck on sidewalk cracks. All she wants is to get her paralyzed son an upgraded wheelchair that will help him get around better, but Anthem Blue Cross says he is too young to need one, and that he won’t be eligible for one until he is 5-years-old
The toddler was born with spina bifidia, a disabling congenital disorder in which the spinal column does not completely close before birth. Aubrey says that she had tried not to let his condition stop him from having as normal a life as possible, and that she and his father are determined to teach him to be independent and show him that he can do the same things other kids can do — including rock climbing.
“He was a little afraid at first, but when he saw everyone else, he was bound and determined to climb,” Aubrey said. “It was just awesome to see him do it and to see all the people who were there cheering him on.”
According to the Daily Mail, the Allreds submitted a claim for a new wheelchair that was denied in October 2014. A resubmitted claim was denied again a few weeks ago.
The 29-year-old mother of two told Fox News she was devastated by the insurance company’s decision.
“I was heartbroken, I probably cried for two days. They are saying my son is not old enough to be independent. I feel just because my son has a disability doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the right to be independent.”
Insurance companies have been known to deny claims for strange reasons, such as this company in a previous Inquisitr report, which denied a fire claim because the homeowner had a pit bull.
In Crue’s case — even though they told the Allreds that the toddler was not even eligible for a wheelchair for three more years — Anthem Blue Cross blamed his doctor for the denial, saying the required documents were not submitted by the deadline.
“I know that our son is only two but his mobility shouldn’t be determined by a doctor that works for the insurance company, who has never met him,” she posted on Crue’s Facebook page at the time of the second denial.
“I just wish that insurance companies would understand that if they gave young disabled children the chance to have mobility at a young age, the difference they’d be making in their lives. An able child learns to walk at the age of one so why is it not okay for a young disabled child to learn to use a chair at the age of two?”
Her Facebook post inspired a friend to start a GoFundMe page which, as of Saturday, had raised more than $17,000 — more than enough to get the paralyzed toddler new wheelchair. The family plans to use the extra funds for a standing walker and standing wheelchair for Crue, and to help with other necessary medical expenses.
Aubrey says she gets choked up thinking about the generous response from strangers to help her son.
“This little boy is beyond shocked and so grateful for all the donations he has gotten,” she posted on Facebook recently. “He just wants to thank each and every one of you for all you love, support, prayers, and kind words.”
[Image via Aubrey Allred/Facebook]