This paralyzed toddler moves around using a DIY wheelchair her parents built
A mom concerned over her paralyzed toddler’s ability to see the world decided to take matters into her own hands. Not content to wait until she was big enough to fit a standard wheelchair, she figured out a way to craft a tiny one so her daughter could explore like any other baby.
Moral of the story? Leave it to a mom.
It was back in August that we first told you about Kim Moore’s daughter, Evelyn. Eva, as her family calls her, was diagnosed at the age of 4 months with stage 4 neuroblastoma and was paralyzed by the cancer from the arms down.
At 13 months, the infant was growing frustrated with her inability to get mobile, so her father created her a DIY wheelchair using Pinterest as their inspiration.
Now not only is Eva the master of her wheelchair, but at 18 months she’s now…
Eva was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma at the age of 4 months. She underwent 8 rounds of chemotherapy but the tumor severed her spinal cord, leaving her paralyzed. With doctors telling her parents she wouldn’t fit in a wheelchair until she was the age of 2, they improvised and created one for her using a Bumbo chair and a kitchen cutting board with castors and wheels attached to it.
Her mother Kim Moore says the news was heartbreaking. “But then you go home and you cry and you come back the next day and be the strongest mom and dad you can ever be,” she told CTV news at the time.
Not surprisingly, little Eva mastered her wheelchair in no time. After her husband Brad built the custom wheelchair for her daughter, Kim says it only took a little bit of time for her to get used to it.
“She went backwards first and then she went forwards, and then she figured out how to turn,” Moore said. “And now we have a speed bump in the middle of our living room because she just goes that fast.”
Now, at 18 months, little Eva is surpassing expectations again. In an interview with CBC Edmonton’s Radio Active show last week, the mother revealed that her daughter has actually taken her first steps!
“The past few days we’ve seen Evelyn walk,” she explained. “It doesn’t look like two feet on the ground but it’s pretty beautiful.
“She’s just doing really phenomenal.”
Eva is using a special standing frame made of steel and soft foam to help her with her efforts to stand and walk. It’s a full body brace that helps keep the toddler upright and supported.
“Often we don’t listen to the experts, which probably isn’t the best advice, but if we set goals, we achieve them,” said Moore. “We have got all the equipment that we needed to support our little disabled daughter, and that’s taken a lot of stress off our plate.”
After Eva’s story went viral, her parents say they were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they received.
“It made us smile and realize how beautiful this world really is,” Moore said. “People that didn’t even know us were mailing us letters and blankets, and contributing to our Gofundme account. We’ve had a lot of support and the support has come through people and not the systems that are in place in Alberta.”
They also admit that they’ve struggled to figure out how to find the resources their daughter needs, and although they do receive subsidies to help with the special equipment, the majority of the donated money they’ve received is already been spent.
“That’s a challenge for us, just adjusting to the amount of money we have to pay in order for our daughter to live a normal life, because that’s something she needs to live.”
Although it’s been hard for the Moore’s to watch their daughter struggle and deal with the cancer and the resulting paralysis, seeing her constantly improve and to actually take her first steps has been inspirational for the family.
“It’s been really neat to watch because we never thought we would see it,” said Moore. “It’s really opened our eyes to see things differently with a lot more hope and positivity.”
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Watch her zoom around in the heartwarming clip below.