Boy inspires new nonprofit to help families raising kids with disabilities

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Tuesday, Nov. 9, would have been the birthday of a boy who is the inspiration behind a nonprofit looking to help families raising children with disabilities.  

“He would brighten any room he was ever in. When he woke up pretty much the first thing, he would do is laugh at you and giggle,” said Clay Duba, Caleb’s dad.  

That is how most days would start for Caleb with a smile and a laugh.  

“Caleb was our son. He passed away in 2018. He had a condition called hydranencephaly. He had a lot of complications with that. He was 10 years old when he passed,” said Dominique Toll, Caleb’s mom. 

Hydranencephaly is a disorder where spinal fluid would build up in Caleb’s head. He had a shunt put in which helped but he was still left with obstacles to overcome.  

“Outside of him being in a wheelchair and not speaking, he was just like any other kid. He loved to go for walks, loved to eat pizza,” said Toll. 

In celebration of what would have been Caleb’s 14th birthday, Caleb Smiles has partnered with Uccello’s restaurant to do a fundraiser for the nonprofit in his honor.  

“Our mission is to provide equipment and experiences different things that insurance is not likely to cover for kids with disabilities,” Toll said.  

Experiences like adaptive ski lessons, swimming lessons or horse therapy. They would also like to help families purchase equipment like the communication board Caleb used every day and costs hundreds of dollars but often is not covered by insurance.  

If you dine at the Uccello’s in Standale, Rockford or Grandville or the Herb and Fire in Grandville and mention Caleb Smiles, the restaurants will donate 15% of your sale, including takeout and delivery, to the nonprofit. 

For more information about Caleb’s Smile visit their website or Facebook page.

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