Hancock County

This former Hancock cheerleader needed a wheelchair ramp. Her classmates took action.

Whitley McQueen
Whitley McQueen Sun Herald file

For most of her life, Whitley McQueen has been confined to a wheelchair, although that’s never stopped her from doing what she sets her mind to.

The 2017 Hancock High School graduate was a cheerleader and a member of the school’s dance team. She participated in various club activities and is now in college.

McQueen is a busy woman, but a current Hancock High football player noticed something missing when he drove past her home a few months ago — she had no wheelchair ramp.

Whitley was born with arthrogryposis, which led to stiffness in her bones and joints. She also now suffers from scoliosis, kyphosis, club feet and restrictive lung disease. The combination of ailments keeps Whitley in a wheelchair most of the time.

Devin Ladner was determined to build a ramp for McQueen, so he enlisted help from the football team, coaches, school administration and volunteers, the Sea Coast Echo reported.

Hancock Principal Tara Ladner told the Sea Coast Echo that Devin contacted Lowe’s, and the home improvement store donated materials for the ramp.

“I’m proud that these kids saw a need and decided to do something about it,” Tara Ladner told the Sea Coast Echo. “This was a community effort and I think that is what sets our community apart.”

On Sunday, Devin and his volunteer team finished the ramp.

“Nobody has ever done anything like that for me before,” McQueen told the Sea Coast Echo. “It made me feel very happy and thankful that people would go out of their way to help someone else.”

McQueen’s mother, Priscilla McQueen, told the Sea Coast Echo she’s working on getting Whitley a motorized wheelchair.

Sun Herald reporter Patrick Ochs Contributed to this report.

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