A Terre Haute mother and her autistic son are approaching their fundraising goal to be reunited with the oldest son and brother. It’s been about 10 years since they’ve seen him, and they’re hoping for some help.
Kim Irvin and her 12-year-old son Jacoby have raised more than $2,700 of their $3,800 goal so they can attend the Aug. 9 wedding of Kim’s oldest son, Cooney Kirby, in Europe.
“This is going to be such an amazing adventure and such a gift that will bless our souls into eternity,” Irvin said.
Kirby moved to Prague in the Czech Republic in early 2010. Since then, he has been able only to Skype with his mother and brother.
Irvin’s son Jacoby is autistic and has mitochondrial disease, and she is disabled, too, so they have a limited disposable income that makes this trip financially difficult.
“We’ve never traveled, flew or been out of this state, let alone this country,” Irvin said of herself and Jacoby.
So far, a Go Fund Me campaign has raised $2,774 that has been used to purchase round-trip airfare and passports for the trip. They still need funds for lodging and food for their week-long stay.
Irvin said she looks forward to seeing her oldest son get married and to meeting her new daughter-in-law in person.
And her son Jacoby is excited about seeing his brother.
Playing video games and eating pizza together all night with his brother is Jacoby’s dream, Irvin said.
In chat messages to the Tribune-Star, Kirby said he has missed his family since moving to Europe.
He worked for several years teaching English, and recently switched jobs to work for Expedia. He is also a musician, playing guitar with friends and a few groups in Prague.
“I am bursting with joy at the thought of seeing my mom and brother again after all these years,” Kirby said. “To have them here with me as I get married and enter a new phase of my life will make the time even more amazing than I thought it could be.”
Kirby helped set up the Go Fund Me campaign under the title Kim’s Intercontinental Ballistic Hugs. Several contributions have already been made, and Kirby said he is thankful for the many people who are helping to make the trip as worry-free as possible for his family.
Irvin said she still needs to arrange transportation to and from the airport in Chicago for her and Jacoby. Some friends are already hosting the mother and son’s dogs, who can’t be taken on the trip.
Anyone wanting more information or to offer assistance can contact Irvin through the Go Fund Me page, via email at email@example.com or by phone at 812-229-7812.
Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at TribStarLisa.