Arunima received her first powered chair from Whizz-Kidz when she was 14 years old. Now at 28, she has fulfilled her dreams of becoming a lawyer and lives independently in central London.
‘My life was very dull before I found Whizz-Kidz. Nothing could be done on the spur of the moment and I didn’t have much confidence.
‘I only had a manual wheelchair and relied on my friends and family to push me around, even at school. I’d come home and be absolutely exhausted from the day’s work. I didn’t have a social life because I didn’t have any energy and I couldn’t go out on my own. I couldn’t even do basic tasks like go and post a letter on my own or nip down to the shops to get a chocolate bar. I wasn’t free to go where I wanted, when I wanted.
‘My dad found out about Whizz-Kidz from a friend and decided to look more into the charity. My previous chairs had come through the NHS and whilst they try to provide an adequate service, it is often very hard for them to provide equipment that suits the young person’s needs. When I got my chair from Whizz-Kidz, my life was transformed overnight.
‘Suddenly I had this new freedom and independence. It wasn't just the difference it made to me but the difference it made to my whole family. My parents loved that I could go off shopping on my own and go to Topshop while they went to the boring shops, and I could go out with my friends and get a bus on my own. My smiles, made them smile.
‘Before I got my powered chair, university wasn’t even a possibility. I was planning to study at home and live with mum and dad because I was scared and didn’t have the mobility to go. But thanks to Whizz-Kidz, who gave me another chair when I was 18, I went to Cambridge University. Before my Whizz-Kidz chair, the thought of those cobbled streets, that huge campus, people everywhere and an unknown city scared me to death! But with my powered chair I was able to concentrate on being me and having fun without worrying about mobility for a second.
‘I’m a lawyer now, living in London by myself and furthering the career I’ve always dreamt of. I am where I am today because of Whizz-Kidz. They gave me my independence and freedom. I would not have the life I have now if it weren’t for them.’