Go Hunter Go!!!!!
Check out this Little Man, cruising down the high street in Wakefield in his seriously cool bright yellow BMW…….. surely he must be the coolest kid in town.
But for Hunter this is more than just a fun toy, for Hunter it is his chance to get some real independent movement.
Hunter, who has Cerebral Palsy, is one of the lucky recipients of a GoBabyGo New Zealand car. This is a new charity in New Zealand built on the Brain Child of Cole Galloway who started GoBabyGo in 2006 at the University of Delaware. The basic concept is to make movement available and fun to children with disabilities at a young age without costing a fortune by taking an off the shelf product like a child’s toy car and modifying it so that a child with a disability can drive it. This may mean adding a roll bar, head rest and harness, and using special switches for the throttle. An added bonus is that with clever tweaks, the cars can be used as part of the child’s therapy programme.
For Hunter he works his car via a head switch mounted in the head rest which makes it stop and go. The head switch helps Hunter sit up straighter and improves his posture, whilst the inside of the car is specially adapted to help Hunter with his leg stretches whilst he is zooming around having fun.
He is learning to steer and like all 4 year old boys is enjoying the ability to keep on ‘running’ despite Mum’s “STOP HUNTER STOP!” At a recent trip to the Wakefield School Playground it was quite simply awesome to see him chasing and playing with the other kids who zoomed around on their scooters, or ran and walked playing with Hunter, who for now was not having to sit on the side lines and watch, thanks to his new wheels.
Like all charities, GoBabyGo needs funds. For those of you that would like to help out kids like Hunter check out the GoBabyGoNZ Facebook Page and go to their give a little page: givealittle.co.nz/org/gillisinclair Or if any of you have electronic expertise and want to get involved, please get in touch with the GoBabyGo Team via their Facebook Page or go to www.gobabygo.org.nz
A Big Thank You to BMW who donated these beautiful cars, to Allied Medical for donating the harnesses, as well as All the GoBabyGo Team. Also a big Thank You goes to Max Biggs from Access Mobility who donated his time and technical expertise to help adapt Hunter’s car to his special needs.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for Hunter zooming around in his flash yellow wheels. His parents are more than happy for other’s to come up and ask them or Hunter’s Grandparents questions and are keen for the community to embrace this wonderful, engaging young man.
Written & Photos by: Lucy Pearson