JD White walking, pedaling to goals

JD White
JD White hangs out on his bicycle May 4 with his physical therapist, Jason Grabiak, of On the Go Therapy Services, Inc. - Kristin Swain | Sun

HOLMES BEACH — One of Anna Maria Island’s most recognizable personalities needs your help to keep walking toward his goals.

JD White, a Holmes Beach resident, is trying to raise funds to help pay for a device to keep him walking.

To help White in his quest to raise the $10,000 to purchase two WalkAides, D Coy Ducks Bar is hosting a May 21 fundraiser party. The party from 2 to 5 p.m. includes live music, a 50-50 raffle, food and raffles.

At press time, $2,300 has been raised using GoFundMe, an online fundraising site. Buster Powers started the online fundraiser.

Donate here

The WalkAide works to stimulate leg muscles to help patients like JD who suffers from cerebral palsy, which can lead to drop foot, a condition where the front part of the foot and toes do not lift without assistance. The WalkAide device straps to the calf and uses functional electrical stimulation to help the muscles work better and return lost mobility to the foot.

If White is able to get two of the devices, one for each leg, he said he would be able to walk with better posture, less pain and, most importantly, without the cumbersome metal braces he’s worn for most of his life.

White has been working with physical therapist Jason Grabiak of On the Go Therapy Services for two weeks using a loaned device to judge its effectiveness. Grabiak said the device is helping to strengthen White’s leg muscles and assist with his posture which helps relieve some of the pressure on his knees.

“I’m already a lot better,” White said.

“It’s crucial to get the WalkAides now,” Grabiak said. Without the WalkAide devices, White will have to begin wearing the leg braces again, which don’t allow his feet to move and would undo much of the progress made in his therapy sessions.

Community members can help show their support for White by coming out to D Coy Ducks, 5410 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, May 21 or by visiting his GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/jds-walk-aides.