MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. – Jesse Hester was born in March of 2007, and his mother, Patches Hester says he was so large at birth he broke the hospital’s record, but as he started to grow, they took him for tests because he wasn’t meeting the milestones for his age.
“At eight months we took him in for testing in Birmingham and he was diagnosed with something called PKS, which is Pallister-Killian Syndrome,” said Hester.
She says there are only 200 documented cases of PKS.
Hester says Jesse is wheelchair bound, non-verbal and requires complete care.
The family says out of all of their daily obstacles, one of their biggest tasks is getting Jesse from one destination to the next.
“Right now we have to physically handle him from the house into the car,” said Patches.
The Hester’s say it takes about 15 minutes to load Jesse into the van or take him out of it, and as he grows transporting him only gets harder.
Members of the Southside Baptist Church realized that the family wouldn’t be able to carry him for longer, so they came together to help and raise money for a new van for Jesse.
The pastor of Southside Baptist Church said they’ve tried to raise money for the Hester’s for about a year, but finally one of the members decided to dedicate a month solely to raising money for Jesse.
“One of our ladies just said ‘Look, we need to make this a priority and we need to do ‘June for Jesse.'”
For the entire month of June, the church has held yard sales and other fundraisers. The Hester’s tell us money is coming in from family and friends, but they’re most surprised by the donations from people they’ve never met.
“I mean I am just amazed and grateful and thankful that this has happened,” said the Hester’s.
Southside Baptist Church has raised over $15,000 for Jesse’s van and they say they’re not done yet. A new van could cost the family between $27,000 to $36,000 and they appreciate all donations.
If you’d like to give you can call the church at (256) 878-4293, or you can go to Citizens Bank in Albertville to give into Jesse Hester’s Van Fund account.