West Windsor Township grandmother and grandson give back to community

"I don't think that a person's ability or disability should stop them from doing things in life," said Gail Correa.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Gail Correa of West Windsor Township, Mercer County is the paternal grandmother of Joshua Correa.

She adopted Joshua when he was just 7 days old. When he was 3, he was diagnosed with regressive autism. He is now 20 years old and nonverbal, mostly communicating through his iPad.

Gail nominated Joshua for Philly Proud, but after watching them during the interview, Action News Reporter Jessica Boyington realized that Gail's someone to be proud of too.

"I don't work any longer. This is my work right here," said Gail.

Gail and Joshua teamed up together to give back to the community by volunteering to help local churches, charities and organizations benefitting autism.

"I don't think that a person's ability or disability should stop them from doing things in life to you know, to be fulfilling because he has autism. That doesn't mean that he cannot give back to society," she said.

Joshua also loves to paint, so Gail set up an area for him to create. They raise money by auctioning off his artwork. One of his paintings raised a whopping $5,000.

"He does it with such a smile, never complaining. Just happy to do something because I think it gives him self-worth," she said.

They frequently work the with the Sunshine Foundation, a nonprofit that works to answer the wishes of chronically ill, physically challenged and abused children, and Elijah's Promise to help the hungry.

"Every person has their challenges," she said. "There's no label for him even though the autism is there, you know, people can see he has autism, but that's not him...Your ability doesn't stop you from giving back and helping others," she said.

To Gail and Joshua, Action News is proud of both of you.

Tell us about the person or organization that is doing great things in your community.

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