Classmates reach funding goal to buy now-graduate a new wheelchair

Oscar gets a new wheelchair

LINCOLNTON, NC (WBTV) - Less than a week after WBTV met Oscar Martinez, he became a graduate of Lincolnton High School.

But getting his diploma wasn't what put the biggest smile on his face. It was what the 22-year-old heard about an effort from his classmates and the community.

Oscar has Cerebral Palsy, which means he doesn't have much use of his arms and legs. He's also technically classified as non-verbal.

The motorized wheelchair, that he's been in since it was donated to him in 2008, is starting to fall apart. The paddles Oscar pushes with his knees are held on to the chair with bits of duct tape.

That's why students and teachers at Lincolnton High School organized a huge fundraising effort using online crowd sourcing website, GoFundMe. They were hoping to raise nearly $35,000 to buy Oscar a new chair.

Another fundraiser held over the weekend also raised around $20,000.

His teacher, Tiffany Marquez, announced after his graduation ceremony Tuesday that they've raised more than $31,000 and now have enough money to provide Oscar a brand new wheelchair.

As Marquez made the announcement, Oscar's face beamed with a smile.

He is currently being fitted for his new chair and it should be delivered in a few months.

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