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‘Overwhelmed with joy’: Ripon graduate crosses stage using robotic legs

Ella R Weiske

18-year-old Ella Weiske beams in her graduation black cap and gown as she stands in her new Trexo robotic walking device. Ella has light skin, light eyes, and shoulder-length brown hair. Standing behind her, a friend with light skin and long wavy brown hair touches her shoulders.

“I was overwhelmed with joy.”

Living with cerebral palsy, 18-year-old Ella Weiske turned to Help Hope Live to fundraise for a life-changing piece of equipment insurance wouldn’t cover: a Trexo. The Trexo would give Ella the opportunity to get out of her wheelchair and into a standing position, taking steps with support from the device when her body grew fatigued.

She reached her $45,000 fundraising goal – and this month, she accomplished her goal of walking across the graduation stage in her Trexo.

“Just to walk and physically grab my diploma–that’s going to be the best part of my day.”

The crowd stood to greet her with a standing ovation as Ella, visibly emotional, made her way across the stage.

18-year-old Ella Weiske is visibly emotional with joy as she walks across the graduation stage in her Trexo walking device. She has light skin, brown hair, and a black cap and gown with teachers and administrators standing and applauding for her at the podium. She is assisted by a friend in a black dress with light skin and brown hair. Written by Emily Progin