Help children like Coen Rude during the Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Hospital Radiothon | WJHL

Lena Weib

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Coen Rude is a 10-year-old boy who loves to play basketball in the Kingsport Miracle League and loves to watch Star Wars. Rude is also a patient at the Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City.

Rude was born with a genetic disorder known as Stickler Syndrome, which can cause serious vision, hearing and joint problems. So far, Rude has had 17 surgeries with more on the way.

“Coen has only known this type of life, so I don’t think it has dawned on him yet he’s different from other kids except that he’s in a wheelchair,” said physical therapist Lynn Carmichael.

Coen Rude in his customized BB8 Star Wars wheelchair.

Rude must endure hours of rehabilitation each week to work on strengthening his motor skills. Although things may be progressing slowly, there is a goal in sight.

“We have worked top-down trying to get him back to the best quality of life he can have,” said Coen’s father, Chris Rude.

Carmichael said it has been extremely gratifying to see Coen getting around with crutches and a walker.

Much of his rehabilitation would not have been possible if it were not for the Niswonger Children’s Hospital Radiothon. The money raised during the event provides health care that is closer to home for families in the Tri-Cities region that would otherwise have to fly or take long drives to places like Nashville to receive treatment.

“Giving out of the kindness of their heart, to be able to support those laundry list of things, not only the things that need to be done but things we can do because donations are coming in,” said Chris Rude.

You can click here to donate to the Radiothon through News Channel 11 now. You can also simply text KITE to 243725 to donate.

Kids just like Coen Rude will be able to receive treatment and more thanks to the generosity of people who choose to donate to the Radiothon each year.

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