High School Students Step In To Modify Toy Car After Parents Can’t Afford Motorized Wheelchair For 2 Year-Old
A 2 year-old boy who suffers from mobility issues just got the gift of a lifetime from some compassionate high school students who stepped up to give him a new set of wheels.
Cillian Jackson was born with a genetic defect that left him with impaired motor function. Up until last December, the 2 year-old had to be carried in a stroller or in his parents’ arms. His mom and dad frantically looked around for ways to give him more mobility, but they quickly found that motorized wheelchairs were way too expensive for them to afford.
Once they realized a motorized wheelchair was not an option, Cillian’s father Tyler Jackson reached out to robotics students at his alma mater of Farmington High School in Minnesota. The Rogue Robotic there has won numerous awards, so when they heard that they had the opportunity to change Cillian’s life, they immediately agreed to help him.
The students used a Power Wheels riding toy that had been given to them by Cillian’s parents as the base of the wheelchair. After replacing almost two of the electronics in the chair, they added a more accessible customized joystick to control the chair as well as a child-sized bicycle seat that they found on Amazon. The teenagers then used pool noodles as safety bumpers for the edges of the toy and added a 5-point harness to keep Cillian safe inside the chair.
In the end, the students were able to modify the toy car to accommodate Cillian for a very low cost, and his reaction when he saw his new wheels was priceless.
“I think we won here more than we do in our competitions,” one of the students said. “Another team member said: ‘Instead of completing a task, we’re helping change someone’s life.’”