Tyler and Krissy Jackson were in a real bind. They desperately needed a new wheelchair for their disabled son, Cillian, but were unable to afford it. That is, until, high school students at Farmington High School in Minnesota stepped in. With some hard work and dedication, they created an amazing wheelchair that little Cillian would absolutely love.
A Serious Struggle
Two-year-old Cillian was born a genetic defect that severely impacted his motor function. So much so, he either had to be carried by his parents or pushed in a stroller. “He has an especially hard time controlling his body. He has a lot of symptoms you’d see in someone who has cerebral palsy,” Cillian’s father Tyler told KARE11.
Tyler and his wife Krissy wanted Cillian to have more independence with a power wheelchair. However, they couldn’t get one since insurance wouldn’t cover it due to Cillian’s young age. So Tyler decided to reach out to the robotics team at his alma mater, Farmington High, to see if they could help build something for Cillian.
A Monumental Task
The coach of the award-winning team, Spencer Elvebak, posed the idea to the team. They unanimously agreed to help the toddler by building him his own custom power wheelchair. The major task would take a lot of work and sacrifice but the students were up for it.
Using the skills they picked up with their own competition robots, the team worked together to transform a Power Wheels toy into a power wheelchair that Cillian could easily use. They replaced most of the electrical components of the toy and mounted a seat from a bicycle carried complete with a seatbelt. They also added a custom joystick powered to help Cillian get around.
A Thrilling Ride
The final result was a cool, new ride that Cillian immediately gravitated to. His parents were truly impressed by the students’ work and how simple it was for the toddler to use. “This really helps him explore like he’s never been able to do before,” Krissy shared.
This victory meant more to the robotics team than any competition ever could. Knowing that they built something that would positively impact this child’s life was the ultimate win. “Instead of completing a task, we’re helping to change someone’s life,” team member Drew Eisenzimmer said. Yes, little Cillian’s life is forever changed thanks to this great team!
The YouTube video for this amazing robotic wheelchaire garnered over 24K views! Watch for yourself:
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