Flash new wheels get dis­abled kids mov­ing

Weekend Herald - - News - Amy Wig­gins

Xza­vier Rad­ford can’t yet walk but is al­ready the proud owner of a shiny new set of wheels.

The 2- year- old was born with Prader Willi Syn­drome and gets left be­hind by other kids his age be­cause he can only shuf­fle around on his bot­tom.

This week, he was one of seven Auck­land chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties which af­fect their mo­bil­ity given ride- in elec­tric cars, thanks to GoBabyGo.

Prader Willi Syn­drome de­layed Xza­vier’s devel­op­ment, mean­ing he could not yet walk or talk, but the big­gest i ssue those with the rare con­di­tion face i s an in­sa­tiable ap­petite.

Mum Hol­ley Rad­ford said he was start­ing to dis­play signs of con­stant hunger, mean­ing they would soon have to lock all food away to keep him at a healthy weight.

But for now, his new BMW would give him in­de­pen­dence, she said.

“He hates when peo­ple do things for him. He’ll be able to do ev­ery­thing with his friends.”

The grin on his face was ev­i­dence the bub­bly boy loved ev­ery minute be­hind the wheel of his new car.

Char­ity GoBabyGo gives elec­tric cars to Kiwi kids with mo­bil­ity is­sues to get them mov­ing and help their fam­i­lies get the chil­dren around.

This week the New Zealand branch, which has been run­ning since late 2014, gave out its 173rd car.

The Tread­away fam­ily, who also re­ceived a car this week, said it would be “life- chang­ing” for them and their daugh­ter, Scout.

Par­ents Scott and Kate Tread­away no­ticed their lit­tle girl wasn’t mov­ing much soon af­ter she was born and took her for ge­netic test­ing.

They found she had a rare dis­or­der where some chro­mo­somes were du­pli­cated and trip­li­cated. Doc­tors ini­tially told them she would need a feed­ing tube and would never talk or walk.

Now aged 4, Scout has con­sis­tently proved the doc­tors wrong.

Her fa­ther said Scout could eat on her own, pull her­self up to her feet and walk with some­one hold­ing one hand.

While she couldn’t talk, she could un­der­stand what was be­ing said and could com­mu­ni­cate through ges­tures, he said. “She’s do­ing re­ally well now,” Tread­away said.

The new elec­tric car would make it eas­ier for the fam­ily to get out to­gether be­cause she was grow­ing out of her buggy and was too heavy to carry for long, he said.

GoBabyGo chief ex­ec­u­tive Gilli Sin­clair said it was about in­creas­ing both the mo­bil­ity and so­cial­i­sa­tion of the chil­dren.

“It’s won­der­ful for the kids be­cause they are able to play with the other kids,” she said.

Each car, which can be con­trolled by the child or via a re­mote, costs about $ 1500 and is funded through do­na­tions and spon­sor­ship.

Pic­ture / Doug Sher­ring

Dis­abled Auck­land 2- year- old Xza­vier Rad­ford can move around in style with his new ride- in elec­tric car from GoBabyGo.

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