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Community "embraced James [Dobson] with their hearts" and raised enough money for the teenager with a brain tumor to get the specialized bed he needs
James Dobson's special climate-controlled bed automatically turns him and vibrates to loosen secretions in his chest.
PETER CIHELKA/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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A dealer at the Manheim Fredericksburg auto action donated a car to the effort. It sold for 30 percent more than market value, "which basically means the winning bidder will lose several-thousand dollars on the resale, but I know he doesn't care," said Vince Edivan, manager of the auction. "He was bidding for James."
Other residents who'd never met James and his family offered to help with insurance paperwork or as advocates to get him the services he needed.
As the holidays approached and people were still recovering from the downturn in the economy, residents reached out to the young man whose simple request tugged at their heartstrings.
The story "about James Dobson touched me to the point of tears," emailed Della Robb, an area Realtor. "Where can I donate to help this lovely boy get the bed he needs?"
The bed also seems to have rejuvenated James. He'd been feeling down in early November and had physical problems, as well. He had some air in his abdomen, which can be dangerous, and he'd needed to go to Children's National Medical Center in Washington about five times in 10 days.
Tremors in his hand also had gotten worse, and he repeatedly needed suction to keep his airway clear.
"I don't know if he was coming to grips with everything or just feeling down and out," his mother said. "Then the bed arrived and my [older] son came home for Thanksgiving, and James has been up ever since."
In fact, James and his mother have gotten doctor's permission to attend a ceremony on Friday for his older brother. Matthew Dobson will graduate from the police academy in Roanoke County and become a deputy, and James will participate in the ceremony.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425