Fundraiser to help family buy wheelchair-accessible vehicle
Posted July 21, 2017 via www.myhorrynews.com
By Ettie Newlands | firstname.lastname@example.org
A local minister and a Myrtle Beach businessman have joined forces to make a tough situation better, and they're asking the Carolina Forest community to help.
Stuart and Heather Royalls, who pastor 180 Degrees Church in Forestbrook, and Tom and Paula Suriano, who own Suriano Homes, want to help Walkers Woods residents Joe and Julie Kleman get a wheelchair-accessible vehicle to help them care for their son Josh.
Royalls went to Suriano with the idea, and with the help of friend and neighbor Jeff Whiteis, who owns JW Designs, a fundraiser was established to raise money for the wheelchair-accessible vehicle.
"The day [the Klemans] arrived home, I immediately knew that Josh, and of course Joe and Julie, had a long road ahead of them," Whiteis says. "Never once has Joe or Julie complained about their situation.
"Julie has been a wonderful caretaker of Josh, and provides him with the best loving, nurturing and of course, cooking, that money can buy.
"Joe's attitude, and his actions, grab my attention constantly. Whether it's taking him for walks, carrying him into the pool for therapy, or simply helping Josh with stretching, Joe's love and dedication to his son is both unmistakable and unconditional."
To read Josh's story or to donate, use the link #DriveForJosh Fundraiser by Suriano Homes. Checks made out to 180 Degrees Church should be mailed to 612 Boone Hall Road Myrtle Beach SC 29579, with "drive for Josh" in the memo line.
Fundraiser established to help injured Carolina Forest graduate
Fundraisers are being held for Josh Kleman, a Walkers Woods resident who is in a medically induced coma after a skate/longboarding accident Sunday, March 29 at Anderson University. The 20-year-old sophomore and cheerleader has had surgery to remove a portion of his skull to relieve some of the pressure on his brain.
His parents, Julie and Joe Kleman, speaking from AnMed Health Medical Center in Anderson, are asking for prayers for their son.
Joe Kleman, who works at Coastal Cancer Center as a nurse, is also the pastor of God First Ministries, a new church that meets in the Kleman home.
Julie Kleman, who has been a cheerleading coach and a proactive volunteer at Carolina Forest High School, is taking classes online through Liberty University, and is working towards a psychology degree with an emphasis on Christian counseling.
Josh has an older brother, Joe Jr., a junior at Coastal Carolina University.
In addition to prayers, financial help is also needed as the family does not have the necessary medical insurance.
"Three CAT scans in two days isn't cheap and he's in ICU with surgeons, and the medication alone is expensive," Joe Kleman said.
"But," he added, "There hasn't even been a mention of money yet from the hospital."
Kleman said a representative did meet with the couple and provided a packet of information about financial assistance that's available.
"But," he said, "Nobody has brought up finances."
"They come in on their days off to pray for him, this is a phenomenal hospital," his wife said.
In the first four days after the GoFundMe account, Josh Kleman's Medical Fund, was set up by neighbors Jeff and Brittney Whiteis, 94 people raised $4,914 of the $50,000 that's needed. * Update 04/10/15: 125 people raised $7,171.
On Thursday, April 2, Maureen Sullivan, who manages the cheerleading program at the X Sports complex in Myrtle Beach, held a candlelight vigil for Josh at the facility.
"Josh always came and tumbled with us when he was home from college, he does volunteer coaching, and he's spent a great deal of time at the gym over the last two years," Sullivan said.
The tumblers stayed up late the previous night baking for a bake sale fundraiser, and Sullivan said that brought in about $100 at the vigil.
About 45-50 people came and went during the candlelight vigil, signing a guest book, donating to the GoFundMe account, and sharing encouraging words about Josh.
"Church members and a lot of the cheerleaders who have been helped by him were here," Sullivan said. "My cheerleaders absolutely adore him."
Jeff Whiteis, owner of JW Designs in Carolina Forest, who's known the Kleman family for about five years, said, "Josh is an all around great guy who has his head screwed on right.
"He's very, very family oriented which is saying something, because you don't see that much in kids his age nowadays.
"He's dedicated to the things he loves, like sports and theater work," Whiteis said about Josh.
Josh is a theatre major at Anderson, where his father said he "scholarshipped to do that. He works on the lights, the sound, the set design, and he did the same thing with Wayne Canady and Kraig McBroom at Carolina Forest High School."
Julie and Joe Kleman said the outpouring of love and support for them as they stay at their son's side has been overwhelming.
"We haven't had to worry about anything, the staff and students at Anderson have brought is food and water and blankets and anything we could need," Joe Kleman said.
"One of the vice presidents at [Anderson University] offered us the key to his home and said we should come and go as we please," Julie Kleman said.
"People are tripping over themselves to meet our needs," he husband added.
"Several students have told us that even though Anderson has a mascot, Josh is the face of Anderson," Joe Kleman said.
"He's always the life of the party, Josh's father said about him. "He'll talk to anyone and befriend anyone, he's such a happy kid."
Along with the encouragement of family, friends and the folks at Anderson, the Klemans' faith is helping them deal with Josh's accident.
"When Josh fell, there were two people there immediately who knew CPR," Joe Kleman said. "Josh wasn't breathing, but he was getting CPR within one minute.
"The ambulance was there within four minutes and he was at the hospital within 10.
"When I got intense about studying the Bible, I discovered there's no word in Hebrew that translates into 'coincidence,'" he said.
"God provides for our needs even when we don't know what they are," Julie Kleman said. "And He will sue this to His glory."
Updates on Josh's condition will be posted periodically at: facebook.com/joshklemanupdates
Josh's GoFundMe Fundraiser can be found here: gofundme.com/joshkleman