Mya, aged 13, from Oxfordshire, has spina bifida which affects the sensation in her lower legs, making it difficult for her to walk long distances. Mya uses a wheelchair when out and about or at school, and until she received a chair from Whizz-Kidz, she was using an unsuitable chair which created lots of difficulties for her.
Mya’s Mum, Leah, said ‘Mya has found it tricky at times to be as independent as any other 13 year old would be. Getting to school by herself is much harder and with her old chair she found it very difficult to move around school and get to lessons independently. It was so heavy and bulky that it took a huge amount of effort and a lot of her strength to push herself around. This meant that Mya always had a Teaching Assistant with her or was reliant on her friends to push her round school.
‘Like every other 13 year old, Mya loves going to town with her friends but again this was difficult for her because she needed to be pushed by me or one of her friends the whole time. Even if we went to the shops around the corner, she’d be able to self-propel on the way there but she’d need someone to push her back because she’d become extremely tired. All of this really affected Mya’s independence and her confidence was knocked too.
‘We heard about Whizz-Kidz from Mya’s physio and received a new lightweight wheelchair in August. The change has been really noticeable for Mya, especially in school. She can get from class to class without assistance and she can propel herself so much further than she could before. Now, Mya can go to the shops and back, she can go to the supermarket with us and when she goes to town with her friends she’s able to push herself the whole way round without any assistance whatsoever.
Thanks to her new wheelchair, Mya now has so much more confidence because she doesn’t feel like she’s just there to be pushed. It may not seem like a lot to some people, but just being able to do something for yourself makes such a big difference.
‘Mya has also taken advantage of Whizz-Kidz’s Oxford Ambassador Club which she now goes to every month. She really enjoys it and loves that it’s something for herself. Mya’s brother is in a football club and it’s difficult when Mya can’t always find activities of her own that she can fully access. The Ambassador Club addresses this completely. She enjoys the games, baking, and arts and crafts but perhaps most of all meeting the other kids who she can share stories with.
‘I’d absolutely recommend families to make use of the clubs even if it means a bit of travel. Everyone is so friendly and it’s definitely worth a try - your children will love it!’