A Little Christmas Miracle: Lena Larson Can Now Scoot to Class at Geneva High School

Geneva High School senior Carolena Larson trades her walker for a Go-Go Scooter, thanks to a generous donation from the Geneva Lions Club.

Sometimes, the happiest Christmas-season miracles happen right here at home.

For senior Carolena Larson, getting from one end of school to the other between classes has been challenging to say the least.

Sure, she's bright and beautiful and maintains a full academic schedule, like most students at GHS. But due to cerebral palsy and scoliosis, "Lena," as her friends call her, has used a reverse walker to navigate the crowded hallways and get to her classes—sometimes physically exhausted and often a few minutes late.

On Tuesday afternoon, all that changed when members of the Geneva Lions Club presented Lena and her dad with a new $1,700 Go Go Scooter.

“I can’t thank you enough,” she said, and you can see the joy on her face in the photos provided here.

Carolena and her father, Rod, had tried for more than a year, without success, to obtain a scooter through their insurance company. Recognizing the need, Geneva High School Principal and Lions Club member Tom Rogers approached Tim Vetang from the Geneva Lions Club Foundation about a month ago, and the general membership voted unanimously last week to spend $1,700 and buy her the scooter.

Vetang picked up the scooter from Grimms Medical Supply and brought it to the school Tuesday, when Geneva Lions Club President Howie Pribble, Rogers, Vetang and numerous Geneva High School staff members were on hand for the presentation.

"This is an amazing gesture by the Lions Club,” said Lee Campana, inclusion facilitator and Lena’s teacher. “This scooter will bring her greater independence both at school and in the community."

GHS staffers say the scooter is even more important now as Lena is scheduled for back surgery in February. She will be able to return to school for her final semester of high school much more quickly with the use of the scooter.

“This will open so many doors for her," said Lena's dad. "There will be no stopping her now.”


This story is courtesy of Lee Campana, the amazing staff at Geneva High School and School District 304 and members of the Geneva Lions Club.

Christine Donovan December 01, 2011 at 03:07 AM
This is just an awesome story! And thanks to the Geneva Lions Club for purchasing Carolena with this much needed scooter. What a beautiful Christmas gift! Go, Carolena, Go!
Mary Stith December 01, 2011 at 02:49 PM
I agree! Thanks to those recognized the need! What a wonderful gift.
Geneva History Center December 01, 2011 at 06:55 PM
I watched Lena struggle to get through the halls of GHS but I never heard her complain. She even lugged textbooks around and did her best with the walker she used. This scooter is such a wonderful gift for her and she looks great in it. I am proud to be a Geneva Lion - ROAR!
Heather Werner February 07, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Oh my gosh, I was just gooling for Carolena because I babysat for her and have always wondered about her. If anyone can send me Carolena's or Rod's email I would love to get in contact with them. This is a fantastic story and am so happy that little Lena still seems to have the same positive attitude. my email is heather@alejos.com and it my maiden name was Heather Werner.


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