Lion Clubs help make a difference in Cody’s life

Published 10:40 am Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Special to The Leader

Volunteers and Lion Clubs throughout Orange Texas are always working to make a difference in our community. One young man in our community is the most recent recipient of those efforts.

Cody Dunaway is a gregarious young man who was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome at an early age. Angelman Syndrome is a rare, genetic and neurological disorder that causes severe developmental delays and learning disabilities; absence or near absence of speech; inability to coordinate voluntary movements of the arms and legs and a distinct behavioral pattern characterized by a happy disposition and unprovoked episodes of laughter and smiling.  Although those with the syndrome may not be able to speak, many gradually learn to communicate through other means such as gesture.  Other symptoms that may occur with the syndrome include seizures, sleep disorders and feeding difficulties.  Some children with Angelman Syndrome may have distinctive facial features but most facial features reflect the normal parental traits.

When it was discovered that Cody needed a level surface and ramp to assist him in getting from the house to the school bus, Sabine River Ford offered their pavers to make a solid surface for Cody. That is where Lion Club’s in Orange, volunteers, businesses, and organization’s organized together to make Phase One of the project a reality. 17 Lions and 11 volunteers showed up in the drizzling rain Saturday and made short work palletizing 3,780 pavers so McCoy’s Lumber could transport the pavers to Cody’s home.

There are two more Phases of the project to take place; Phase Two – build new stairs and a ramp from the porch of Cody’s home and establish a grade with rock base set ready for the pavers to be laid in place; Phase Three will consist of laying the pavers from the house and along the driveway so Cody can access the school bus with no problems. Once all donated material is received then a date will be set for the next phase.

Bobby Manshack with Manshack and Sons have offered to donate the base and sand for the project. Todd Duhon with Duhon Designer homes has offered an operator and his equipment to set the grade and move base material in. Robert Lee with Rivken Metal Works donated a fire ring towards the project. Lion John Backer with the Orange Lions Club is leading this project and is currently waiting on a commitment from local businesses to cover the materials needed for the ramp and stairs.

This is a community project. If you want to find out more about this project and see what has and is being done you can find information on Orange Texas Lions If you would like to volunteer or help with the project to make a difference in Cody’s life please contact John Backer at 409-886-7606.