Aaliyah's Story

Aaliyah has weak muscles and painful joints due to multiple medical conditions including skeletal dysplasia and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. It makes her totally reliant on her wheelchair for mobility. But her old NHS wheelchair is very heavy to propel, so she tires easily, its weight makes it difficult to get in and out of the car when her parents take her out.


Aaliyah is very keen to learn to drive herself, as driving would provide really liberating independence for her. But transferring from her wheelchair to a driver’s seat car also requires a lighter and more manoeuvrable wheelchair, so that the assistance she required was minimal.

Despite her medical condition, Aaliyah plays wheelchair basketball every week, enjoys life at college, where she works really hard, and has recently been awarded a bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Variety agreed to provide a new lightweight wheelchair for Aaliyah that was exactly what she needed.

It is already making a difference, enabling her to get around more easily, socialise more with her friends and not get quite so tired. The result has been quite a confidence boost too.