Parenthood
Determined dad builds 7-month-old daughter’s wheelchair following online tutorial
Mom found the idea on Pinterest and dad built it with simple parts on a budget. And the chair has changed their baby's life.
D.G. Sciortino
11.24.21

Evelyn Moore’s parents didn’t have time to wait and see if their insurance would cover a pediatric wheelchair.

They needed one immediately.

So, dad made one himself for $100 following directions he saw on Pinterest.

“There weren’t too many options that were available,” Evelyn’s mom Kimberly Moore told ABC News.

“When my daughter was diagnosed, we were more worried about keeping her alive than getting the insurance to get it [a wheelchair] covered. We saw something on Pinterest and Brad [my husband] said he could build it. Within a day or two, it was done.”

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The Canadian Press - YouTube

Evelyn was left paralyzed below her arms because of a spinal tumor and was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at 4-months-old

Thankfully, she went into remission but doctors said she should wait until she was 2 to be fitted for a wheelchair.

Mom and dad weren’t hearing that.

And at 1-year-old Evelyn was whizzing all over the place in her wheelchair.

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The Canadian Press - YouTube

“She’s pretty fearless,” Kimberly Moore said. “She’ll go in her wheelchair on the top of a hill, let go and put her hands in the air, then catch herself when she gets to the bottom.

She’s a good little baby. She’s been through a lot and she’s just trying to get back to what normal looks like.”

Her wheelchair is made from a cutting board, castor wheels, and a Bumbo chair.

The chair has changed Evelyn’s life.

“She’s very happy,” Pediatric oncologist Bev Wilson of Stollery Children’s Hospital in Alberta said.

“She moves around and visits nurses she wants too see and other kids. She knows everybody. It’s made her mobile in a way she otherwise wouldn’t be able to be. She gets to explore what she’d want to explore. She’s like any other child, but she’s actually faster.”

The Canadian Press - YouTube
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The Canadian Press - YouTube

She’s racing around in freedom.

Evelyn’s parents even had to install a speed bump in their home.

“Her true person comes out when she’s in that chair,” Moore said. “She [now] has the same interactions as any other child would, being at eye level and exploring the world on the ground. … That’s what she is able to do in moving around. It’s pretty exciting.”

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The Canadian Press - YouTube

Her future is limitless.

Evelyn even got to take her wheelchair to “Camp Beat It.” And by the age of 2 1/2, Evelyn was walking with the help of her machines.

“I’ve been told many times that my daughter is paralyzed, which I understand,” Moore told CBC. “But that doesn’t mean she can’t walk. That doesn’t mean she can’t live a life that has quality to it. Really, it’s limitless.”

That’s why Evelyn is ReYu Paralysis Recovery Centre’s youngest client.

The non-profit organization helps people with paralysis to reach milestones like speaking, singing their names, and brushing their hair.

The Canadian Press - YouTube
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The Canadian Press - YouTube

Evelyn walks on a treadmill while being supported by a lifted harness for about an hour three to five times a week.

As a result, she’s gained bladder control, strengthened her immune system, and developed muscles. She can even slightly kick her leg.

“The best part is she doesn’t know it’s working out,” Gill says. “To her, it’s fun. She’s playing with a purpose. She’s turning into this sassy little lady. She’s going to take on the world and it’s awesome,” ReYu Paralysis Recovery Centre Co-founder Bean Gill said.

Learn more about Evelyn in the video below!

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By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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