Almost five years ago, Variety Teen Joe received a power wheelchair with the help of Variety St. Louis (you might remember him from his inspiring video). This power wheelchair provided much-needed independence and the capability to move around on his own.
The thing is, Joe has grown a lot over the last five years. He was fifteen when he received his first power wheelchair - he is now 20 years old and almost six feet tall! Because he has grown, he no longer fits in the power wheelchair that made such a big difference in his life
This wheelchair is now uncomfortable for Joe. He cannot sit in it properly, which is starting to affect his health, and makes it difficult for Joe to use many of the functions that used to make this wheelchair such an asset.
So, Variety and our supporters have stepped in to provide another power wheelchair better suited to Joe and his changing needs.
This new power chair has plenty of room for Joe as he continues to grow. It also allows him to sit and stand in a variety of positions, helping him access his world. Joe can use the chair to cook his own meals, go for walks and even just hang out and go places with his friends and family.
“We can go anywhere now,” says Joe’s mom, Allyson.
Joe’s favorite places to go in his power wheelchair are Six Flags, local playgrounds, and Missouri State Parks. In fact, Joe and his parents are on a mission to visit all of the state parks and historic sites in Missouri! He will also use the power wheelchair to train for the Special Olympics.
“The power wheelchair is also a big deal at school,” says Allyson. “He can go everywhere by himself and it raises up so that he is at eye level with everyone else!”
Joe will graduate high school next year, and will use his new power wheelchair to cross the stage and receive his diploma.
When people ask why we support Variety Kids and Teens from birth to 21, the answer is simple – it is because kids grow! You can further see the impact of this power wheelchair on Joe’s life in this video and learn more about our durable medical equipment here.