WASHINGTON — Both Gretchen Brown and Cameron Wilson have lofty goals, and dreams that needed a little help to see them realized. Both have disabilities and know the advances in technology would open a world of learning, but that technology was not affordable.
Enter the Travis Burkhart Foundation. The foundation, now in its sixth year, made the gifts of two iPads for Gretchen and Cameron to help them further overcome their disabilities. Gretchen, 14, is blind and Cameron, 14, is autistic.
The idea for the iPad for Cameron came during a recent bone marrow drive set up by Cameron’s father, Duane Wilson. According to Kim Burkhart, mother of Travis and a foundation board member, the two started talking when Travis had his iPad out and Cameron watched him use it. Duane had thought about purchasing one for his son, but had not.
“I said ‘You know what? Go to our webpage and see if we can help,’” Kim said. “So, when I brought it to the board, it was just unanimous.”
That was April 28, according to Travis. Soon after, Wilson and David Brown, Gretchen’s father, were talking about the gift by the board. A month later, they applied and Gretchen received an iPad for herself.
Gretchen, along with her family, was happy to receive the gift.
“I was surprised and I didn’t think I would be able to get one because they are so expensive and stuff,” Gretchen said. “This will support me with educational purposes because a lot of kids at school have them.”
The foundation’s donation will support Gretchen in a very high goal she wants to obtain in high school.
“I want to be valedictorian,” Gretchen said.
Gretchen wrote the foundation a thank-you letter in braille.
Tablets in therapy
The use of tablets has been a boon because of the therapeutic aspects it can bring. According to Travis’ father, Mike Burkhart, his son has benefited greatly from the tablet.