Plainview community rallies to support eight-year-old boy

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(ABC 6 News) – Saturday, hundreds gathered at TJ’s Tavern in downtown Plainview to support an eight-year-old boy.

Memphis Franke is just like any other kid his age, he loves spending time outside with his friends outdoors.

There is something though that sets Franke apart from other children: he can’t walk. He was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy last year, and it’s been an uphill battle ever since.

His parents Tracy and Kevin got him a mobile wheelchair soon after the diagnosis, but the extreme weather last winter made it difficult for Franke to be outside doing what he loved.

“We were trying to purchase an action track wheelchair for our son Memphis,” said Tracy Franke. “We’re just trying to get him outdoors a little more often.”

Action track wheelchairs don’t come cheap though. The lowest price for most starts around $12,000.

Franke’s family knew they had to do something to help get the money they needed for him. They started raising money last week with the Corn on the Cob days bingo event, and now, the Memphis Fun Run.

When they made their way to TJ’s Tavern on Saturday morning, they didn’t know just how many people were ready and waiting to help.

“It’s awesome to the community come together for a cause like Memphis has,” said his cousin, Brady Evers. “I see everyone around here, a lot of community members. There’s a lot of people too coming from out of town, so that’s nice to see.”

More than 275 people in 100 different vehicles showed up for Memphis to raise thousands more for his action track wheelchair.

“Unbelievable,” said Tracy Franke.

“It’s completely overwhelming,” added Kevin Franke.

“I never thought a small community could come together so strong. We’re so fortunate that we live in such a great community,” Tracy Franke said.