MILWAUKEE — Jaquawn Gaston is always on the move. Whether it’s the music studio, the mall or just downtown Milwaukee, he said he loves to go out.
Gaston has cerebral palsy and relies on his electric wheelchair to get around.
“Ever since I could remember I had a wheelchair to help move me around,” said Gaston.
But for the past month, he’s been confined to his bedroom.
“I was crossing the street, and I just rolled up a sidewalk and it stopped out of the blue,” said Gaston.
Gaston said the insurance company is unsure when his electric wheelchair will be fixed and the cost for a new one is thousands of dollars.
In the meantime, he’s using a manual wheelchair, but he’s unable to wheel himself around without help.
“I wanted to leave out of the house and go places and I can’t,” said Gaston.
While his friends are helping him raise money for a new electric wheelchair through GoFundMe, he’s doing what he can to keep his spirits high.
For Gaston, that means rapping. Ever since he was a young boy, Gaston said he’s had a passion for music. He goes by the name Rap J and has albums and music videos on streaming platforms.
“I don’t mean to brag or sound silly, but I don’t think they’re ready for me when I get my wheels back,” said Gaston. “It’s pedal to the metal for sure.”
One of Gaston’s biggest fans is his caregiver, Wanda Webb. She’s been with him for six years.
“During the time I met Jaquawn, I just lost my youngest son due to victims of violence in Milwaukee,” said Webb. “He’s really filled that void for me.”
She said his drive to succeed in life is inspiring despite the current obstacles.
“To see him not be able to get up and move around when he wants to kind of crushes me,” said Webb. “We stay on top of things. We try to make the best of it as much as we can.”
Gaston said he’ll continue to work on his music and come out of this stronger than before.
“Perspective is power,” said Gaston. “If you have the right mindset, you can get through anything.”