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Jussie Smollett Surprises 6-Year-Old Double Amputee With Wheelchair Accessible Van

Kayden Kinckle got a special surprise after his school district failed to provide him with proper transportation. 

Kayden Kinckle is quite the inspiration.

The 6-year-old bilateral amputee, who has been motivating people to “do great things” with his daily Instagram videos and children’s books, got a huge surprise on Monday (Oct. 15) thanks to Jussie Smollett.

Smollett bought Kayden a brand new van complete with a wheelchair lift so that he can get to school without delay. The Empire star stepped in to help Kayden after the Englewood Public School district (where he attends school) failed to provide a proper bus to pick him up on the first day of school.

“He’s the only double amputee in Bergen County [New Jersey] where we live,” Kayden’s mom, Nicole Sessoms, told VIBE on Tuesday (Oct. 16). “They had a bus the prior two years and this year they forgot about him, [after] he switched to a new school.”

Before the van, Sessoms had been putting Kayden’s wheelchair in her small Nissan sedan to drive her son to another school where he was forced to wait for a standard school bus to pick him, once all the other students were dropped off. An aid was on hand to carry him on and off the bus, according to CBS New York. The school district blamed the mishap on a paperwork mix-up and promised to provide Kayden with a proper lift bus.

Smollett, who learned about Kayden’s story through social media, has become a family friend. He tries to spend time with Kayden whenever his schedule permits, Sessoms said.

When Smollett found out about the transportation issue, he reached out to Sessoms with a solution. “He saw what was happening with the bus and he called me and said ‘Kayden needs his own van!’”

The 35-year-old actor arranged to have the van delivered while Kayden and his family were hanging out with him in New York City.

 

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Guess who got Kayden a van with a lift??? Thank you Jussie Smollett!!!

A post shared by KaydenElijah (@kaydenkinckle) on

He may not be able to drive yet, but Kayden’s new van gives him a sense of independence. The first-grader has been overcoming obstacles and shattering expectations since he was in the womb. “That’s why the videos are so important and why I push so hard,” Sessoms said of her goal of chronicling the challenges that her son overcomes on a daily basis.

Kayden was born with omphalocele, a birth disorder that caused his bladder, liver, intestines and spleen to form outside of his body. His umbilical chord was also wrapped around his foot and legs causing both limbs to be deformed at birth. Doctors told Sessoms that Kayden would never be able to walk.

He’s not only walking on his prosthetics, Sessoms believes that he’ll be able to run one day. “They had to close his stomach up before anything else,” she recalled. “Seeing his feet and legs like that? I wasn’t worried. It’s just a big [example] of walking by faith and not by sight.”

Kayden underwent two abdominal surgeries as an infant. His right foot and left leg were amputated by the time he was a toddler. A video of him learning to walk with prosthetics went viral in 2014, but he tore his ACL a few months later. “That’s usually a sports injury with a lot of pain, he didn’t have any pain with it," Sessoms said. “They went back in and looked at his knee and found out other problems.”

Doctors suggested surgery but warned her that he would have to undergo “multiple” surgeries after the initial procedure. “They couldn’t guarantee that his knee would be able to handle his weight, so he had a second amputation.”

The family launched a Go Fund Me page to raise money to buy  Kayden a motorized wheelchair, which is not covered by insurance. A new wheelchair will make it easier for Kayden to transition between the chair and his prosthetics, especially when he gets tired from walking (which is mother said can happen within minutes of moving a short distance.) Sessoms likes to challenge Kayden to do things like walk to his wheelchair and un-hook the seatbelt, to subtly teach him that his disability is not a limitation.

 

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A post shared by KaydenElijah (@kaydenkinckle) on

Kayden will soon undergo what Sessoms hopes will be his last surgical procedure. The surgery is necessary because Kayden's limb was “contracted outward” following his second amputation. “If he lays on his back or on his stomach his leg isn’t flat unless he puts it that way. The surgery is to loosen the muscles.”

Kayden will be without his prosthetics for about a month-and-a-half after the surgery. He will also get a new pair of prosthetics that will be made specifically for him.

Despite what can be a hectic schedule between working and taking care of two young children, Sessoms -- who is a mother of six (four adult children and two minors) -- said that she's grateful for such a large family. “I say that’s my tribe called blessed. Their help and support means everything. I really don’t know what I would do without them.”

See below for video of Kayden learning to walk after his first amputation.

 

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People keep asking was this Me! YES and I still GOT IT!! My name is Kayden !

A post shared by KaydenElijah (@kaydenkinckle) on



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Billionaire Robert F. Smith has earned one of Morehouse's biggest cheers after the commencement speaker announced he'd pay off the student loans for the entire graduating Class of 2019.

"This is my class,” he said, “and I know my class will pay this forward.”

Dang! There are a lot of happy graduates at Morehouse College today.

Commencement Speaker Robert F. Smith is establishing a grant to pay off the Class of 2019's student loans. #SundayThoughts #sundaymorning pic.twitter.com/kupvjyhT9Y

— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) May 19, 2019

The 56-year-old philanthropist and technology investor made the surprise revelation Sunday morning (May 19) at the Historically all-male Black college ceremony.

The 400 student-graduating class could hardly contain their excitement. Tonga Releford, whose son Charles Releford III, graduated today with an estimated $70,000 in student loan debt. The news of a financial clean slate was overwhelming.

“I feel like it’s Mother’s Day all over again,” she said.

The debt for all 400 students hovers around $40 million, which is a fraction of Smith's reported $5 billion.

When news broke of Smith's generous donation, many online expressing happiness, including Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Every Morehouse Class of 2019 student is getting their student debt load paid off by their commencement speaker.

This could be the start of what’s known in Econ as a ‘natural experiment.’ Follow these students & compare their life choices w their peers over the next 10-15 years. https://t.co/UM1qTJOxHf

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 19, 2019

This is real philanthropy.

Not giving money to a school to get your name on the wall while Administrators get raised.

Helping out real students in real need.https://t.co/HD7eF53qzu

— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 19, 2019

Just so everyone’s clear: Robert’s gift is estimated at $40 million. It is the largest ever gift to @Morehouse and the single largest gift ever provided to eliminate student debt in the United States. With student debt disproportionately strangling Black people, this is major. https://t.co/qTUCFJKAQy

— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) May 19, 2019

And because the Internet is the Internet, the jokes had to fly.

Next year’s Morehouse commencement speaker: pic.twitter.com/gYApx8OXGm

— Eric Haywood (@EricHaywood) May 19, 2019

Big ups to Mr. Smith and congratulations to Morehouse's Class of 2019.

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The Internet Was Conflicted About Future's Birthday Gift To Baby Future

It's Future Zahir's birthday and the cutie patootie 5-year-old received massive love from his parents and a pricey gift from his dad.

Nayvadius recorded Baby Future's initial response to opening up his gold Rolex, which merited a sincere "thanks." However, the Internet seems a bit conflicted on whether or not Future's gift to his son was sincere or even appropriate.

https://twitter.com/SPLASHnewz/status/1130136017959301124

Some online thought it was no one's business what Future gifts his son, or that others were jealous.

https://twitter.com/1JOSHLAFLARE/status/1130134869122650114

https://twitter.com/FEELZ_____/status/1130125891777028097

Some took to Twitter to allege Future gave his son the gift he would've wanted for himself.

This is a status symbol for Future not a gift for baby Future. I’m sure he got toys and stuff in addition. But that only makes this Rolex thing worse. Why not just get him an ass load of whatever toys he likes and leave it at that? https://t.co/xQP5r0du7F

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Lmao baby future looking at that watch like “this not Paw PAtrol” lmao I’m weak

— Chief Stallionaire in Meg’s Kitchen (@AskWhy05) May 19, 2019

https://twitter.com/_kingsb/status/1130135731215699969

It's silly to even give that type of gift to a child. That Rolex might be in the toilet by Tuesday, And Future will expect Ciara and Russell to make him wear the watch in every picture.

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— B-Ball Guru (@northcyde) May 19, 2019

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Oh well, whether baby Future knows the value of his gift is neither here nor there. Let me go charge up my Fitbit before it dies.

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Sybrina Fulton Is Running For Office In Florida

Since Trayvon Martin's murder in 2012, Sybrina Fulton has dedicated her life to preserving her son's legacy. Now, Fulton is taking it one step further as she's announced she's running for office in Florida.

“Since 2012, I have advocated tirelessly to empower our communities and make them safer,” Fulton said to The Miami Herald. “But the work is not done. I am proud to announce that I will run to represent District 1 on the county commission.”

"Our county must continue moving forward so our families are safe from violence, can afford to live in Miami-Dade, and have access to good paying jobs,” she continued. “I am ready to take on these issues and many others in county government.”

Fulton will run against Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez during the 2020 election, a seat which will be vacated by Commissioner Barbara Jordan in the same year.

Fulton, alongside Trayvon's father Tracy, found themselves the focus of media attention in 2012 when 17-year-old Trayvon was racially profiled, followed and shot by self-appointed neighborhood watchmen George Zimmerman.

Unarmed Trayvon was staying with his father in central Florida when on the night of Feb 26, he went to a local convenience store and crossed paths with Zimmerman.

Zimmerman was taken into custody by police that night but later released. It would months later in April when Zimmerman was formally arrested and charged. On July 13, 2013,  Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges.

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