If you’ve ever met a two-year-old, you know they are curious little humans. It can be nearly impossible to keep them in a seat because all they want to do is run off and explore their surroundings.
2-year-old Cillian Jackson has the same level of curiosity as any other toddler, but he can’t walk on his own, making it difficult for him to explore. So, a local high school robotics team stepped up to help him out.
Cillian was born with a genetic condition that makes mobility and controlling his body extremely difficult. According to his dad, Tyler, many of Cillian’s symptoms are similar to what you’d see in a person with cerebral palsy.
Because of this condition, Cillian needs a way to get around. His parents had been carrying him in their arms or in a stroller, but he needed the freedom to explore. Unfortunately, motorized wheelchairs cost $1,000+ so Cillian’s parents came up with the idea to reach out to their local high school’s robotics team for help. And, boy, did they deliver!
When coach Spencer Elvebak originally asked the students if they wanted to take on the project, every team member said “yes!”
The team worked together to transform a power wheels toy into a custom-made chair for Cillian. Under the supervision of Elvebak, the students worked together to code, engineer, and build the custom seat. They completely transformed the toy into a functioning chair for Cillian!
And they loved the feeling. One student said “instead of completing a task, we’re changing someone’s life!” while another said, “I think we won more here than we do in our competitions.”
Now that Cillian has his own mode of transportation, he’s been busy exploring everything in sight. According to his parents, he now takes time to stop and examine everything, like doorknobs and light switches, things he never really had the time to really take in when he was in his parents’ arms.
This story truly has a happy ending for everyone involved.
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