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Community responds to ill child’s loss of DVD player

Information

• For local autism connections, go to www.postbulletin.com/weblinks.

• If you would like to help families with needs similar to the Jaspersons, call the United Way’s information and referral service at 211.

By Jeff Hansel

jhansel@postbulletin.com

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A Rochester child will get to watch DVDs again, despite a thief’s dirty work.

On Wednesday, a Rochester-based foundation made plans to replace Bailey Jasperson’s portable DVD player.

Bailey, 7, lives with facial pain from growth problems, and he’s had nearly two dozen surgeries.

He also lives with autism, which makes disruptive events especially traumatic. Rides to and from the Twin Cities, where he gets his treatments, cause him to cry from the pain.

Last week, Bailey’s mother, Michelle Jasperson, forgot to lock the family’s truck doors while she performed a good deed for her mother.

When Jasperson returned to the truck, both Bailey’s and his sister’s DVD players were gone.

On Wednesday, Jasperson said the RT Autism Awareness Foundation plans to replace Bailey’s portable DVD player.

The Jasperson’s had taken out a loan to buy a new DVD player that works for both their son and daughter, said Brad Trahan, a founder of the Awareness Foundation.

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"Our foundation has agreed to reimburse the family for the DVD player," he said, noting the foundation board voted to do so unanimously.

Several people wrote or called the Post-Bulletin with offers of help for the family after news about the theft and Bailey’s plight were published Tuesday.

Trahan said that if people are interested in connecting with other families living with autism, they can contact the Autism Awareness organization.

"We’re not going to let these families face this illness alone," he said.

www.RTAutismAwareness.org

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