MENTONE — A local teenager who suffers from a genetic disorder was presented with a customized Kubota Razor UTV from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
17-year-old Charles Sparks was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome when he was only four months old. Angelman syndrome is a complex genetic disorder that primarily affects the nervous system. The disorder has resulted in Charles having seizures, lack of speech and lack of balance.
A wish reveal party was held at the 1st Baptist Church of Mentone Wednesday, Feb. 15, which also happens to be International Angelman Day. Friends and family gathered at the church to share in the excitement.
According to family members, Charles doesn’t let his illness slow him down and is always finding ways to keep moving.
The personalized UTV has two sets of controls so Charles can drive independently or, if necessary, an adult riding with him can override his controls with the second set.
Charles was presented with the customized UTV at his weekly youth group meeting. After the presentation, Charles and his stepfather, Shaun Mudd, took the UTV out for a short drive around the church parking lot. Although Charles may not be able to verbally express his joy and appreciation for the gift, the huge smile on his face said it all.