"A new powered wheelchair from Variety has given us our fun-loving Stanley back!”

Stanley from Somerset is a vibrant, happy, bright seven-year-old boy who enjoys exploring and going out with his family. He has an undiagnosed neuro-muscular condition that leaves him feeling increasingly fatigued as the day goes on. He also struggles to eat. To conserve his strength, he needs to use a wheelchair to get around. Stanley very much likes doing things on his own, but because he lacks the energy to propel a manual wheelchair himself, he has been entirely reliant on family members to push him. If a parent isn't available, however – typically because they're caring for his toddler twin siblings – he has to turn to his 9-year-old sibling for help. Understandably, Stanley became increasingly despondent with his manual wheelchair as time went by, prompting the family to contact Variety for support in 2019.

Stanley in his Tiny Trax wheelchair

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

Since the powered wheelchair arrived, Stanley has been getting up to all the types of mischief that a seven-year-old should be. Having a wheelchair that doesn’t make him feel tired means that Stanley can now actively take part in exploring the world with his family, choosing either to lead or to follow. 

Now that he's in charge of his own mobility, Stanley's 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 also has begun to 'dance' and 'play chase', all made possible by altering the speed on his Tiny Trax. 

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. 

Delighted Dad Matt told us: “We can’t thank Variety enough for providing a life-changing piece of equipment and for giving us our fun-loving Stan back!” And Stanley told us: “I like my yellow chair! I can catch my brother now!”

Stanley in his Tiny Trax wheelchair