Kokomo 13-year-old with rare disease turns to auctioneering to learn and help those in need

RUSSIAVILLE, Ind. --  A teen in Kokomo is using his passion for auctioneering as a way to learn and help those less fortunate.

Baker Woolley may look like any other 7th grader, but suffers from Mitochondrial disease.

Baker Woolley

"It's an energy disease," said Baker's mother, Susie Woolley. "He struggles a lot with retention and learning and there are certain things he just can't do."

For Baker, auctioneering isn't only something he can do independently, but something he has a great talent for.

"My husband and I were looking for something he could do that still gave him a purpose and didn't use a lot of energy," Woolley said. "Auctioneering is one of those things where we can guide him and teach him along the way."

Baker Woolley and his parents, Mike and Susie

Baker developed an interest for auctioneering after attending a car auction with his dad. His mom said he actually learned to auctioneer as a way to learn how to count.

Over the past year, Baker has hosted several live auctions to help local charities.

On Tuesday, he was the official auctioneer of a charity event at Western Middle School. After learning that his school needed additional help collecting donations for the Coats for Kids campaign, he stepped up to help.

With his dedication, he was able to help raise more than $5,000 to provide coats for kids in need this winter.

"We've had so many things that have been given to Baker," Woolley said. "Mainly love and friendship, and we just want to give back in any way that we can."