Freedom for Finlay a donation away
You can spot the frustration on Finlay Butcher’s face when he can’t see his brother and sister playing.
The 9-year-old has cerebral palsy and can’t talk.
Instead he communicates through his eyes, body language and smiles.
Severe cerebral palsy affects Finlay’s movement, posture and leaves him wheelchair-bound.
Mum Kimberly Graham says it’s easy to see when her son is bored, sad, frustrated or uncomfortable.
‘‘He moans and from time to time he cries.
‘‘He hears his siblings laughter and watches their fun. My heart goes out to him.’’
Finlay’s upgraded wheelchair is heavy and it’s impossible to lift it where he can keep up with his active siblings Rosie, 7, and Lachie, 3.
He can no longer access the beach either – somewhere he loves to go.
The family fundraising for an terrain wheelchair Finlay doesn’t get behind.
Graham says it’s hard enough for children with special needs to be included in typical peer activities.
‘‘It makes it even harder for children with severe complex disabilities – children who are unable to communicate, walk or use their hands effectively.’’
She says the freedom of an all terrain wheelchair would be immense for Finlay.
‘‘It would allow Finlay to access the beach, bush walks, local swimming pools, sea and even the snow.
‘‘I want to make sure that I involve Finlay in as many family activities as I can. I don’t want his brother and sister to grow up feeling that he can’t be included in most things. I don’t want them to resent Finlay for our lack of spontaneity.’’
Finlay’s favourite pastime is getting out and about, Graham says.
‘‘He doesn’t like being cooped up in the house. He loves the outdoors and floating in the water as it helps him relax.’’
Rosie knows exactly how to make Finlay smile when he’s upset.
She goes to her brother’s wheelchair and gently sings in his ear to put him at ease.
Rosie says she finds it sad her brother can’t play with her.
‘‘I think he wishes he could just come and play with us some times.’’
Graham estimates the all terrain wheelchair will cost about $5000.
Left behind: Kimberly Graham, back, doesn’t want her son Finlay, 9, pictured in wheelchair, to get left behind. Sister Rosie, 7, and brother Lachie, 3, are also pictured.
Little helper: When Finlay, 9, is sad his sister Rosie, 7, knows exactly how to cheer him up.