To conserve his strength, Stanley needs to use a wheelchair to get around. He also struggles to eat.

Stanley very much likes doing things on his own, but lacking the energy to propel a manual wheelchair himself, he’s been entirely reliant on family members to push him. If a parent hasn’t been available, however – typically because they’re caring for his toddler twin siblings – he’s had to turn to his nine-year-old brother for help. Stanley’s growing despondency with his manual wheelchair prompted the family to contact Variety for support.

Variety agreed to fund a compact powered wheelchair, designed especially for children. Stanley insisted on having a cheerful, bright yellow colour.

“I like my yellow chair! I can catch my brother now!”

Stanley

Having a wheelchair that doesn’t make him feel tired means that Stanley can now take part in activities with his family, choosing either to lead or to follow. His whole family also has the freedom to go on days out to places that were previously inaccessible. The chair works well on most terrains, which means that shops, steam fairs, and even hills are now within reach. Stanley has also begun to ‘dance’ and ‘play chase’, all made possible by altering the speed on his new wheelchair.

The safety features of the chair are wonderful too. Stanley has full control over operating the chair, but if he starts to fatigue, it has a function that allows his parents to override the controller so they can get him somewhere safe and he can take a break.

Perhaps the most poignant difference the chair has made to Stanley’s life is that he can now hold hands with whomever he chooses while out and about. Previously, he always had to be pushed from behind, so holding hands wasn’t possible.

With his greater independence, Stanley is visibly growing in self-confidence every day.

We can’t thank Variety enough for providing a life-changing piece of equipment and for giving us our fun-loving Stan back!

Dad Matt