When Paul Burnett first met Kamden Houshan in kindergarten, the two boys quickly became friends. They bonded over playing superheroes and creating goofy videos. While others often focused on Kamden’s wheelchair and disability, Paul never acted like Kamden was different.
Kamden, who became paraplegic after a spinal tumor at birth, has been using a wheelchair as long as his buddies have been walking. “What really contributes to their friendship is that Paul does not see Kamden as someone who has a disability. He sees him as Kamden. Because of that Kam truly is himself around him,” said Kamden’s mom, Yvonne Houshan.
Paul had noticed that Kamden’s wheelchair was bulky and it was making it harder for him to keep up with his friends. He was right – Kamden’s chair didn’t fit properly because he had outgrown it.
Kamden’s parents knew this was problem, but he wasn’t eligible for a replacement under Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, which covers one wheelchair every five years. “We couldn’t afford another chair. We put it on the back burner,” Houshan said.
But what Houshan didn’t realize was that Paul had noticed. After the boys finished second grade this year, Paul told his mom he wanted to help Kamden get a new wheelchair. He had recently watched a video about fundraising websites, and he thought if he started a campaign for Kamden, he could raise enough money to get him a customized wheelchair.
In one month, the Keep Kamden Rollin’ exceeded its goal of $3,900 and raised $6,245, which more than covers the cost of a customized wheelchair for Kamden.