While other toddlers are learning and to crawl and walk, 1-year-old Evelyn Moore is beginning to master a different form of transportation: wheeling.
The toddler, who lives in Alberta, Canada, with her parents, Kimberly and Brad, was diagnosed with a cancer called neuroblastoma at just 4 months old, ABC News reports. Although she’s been in remission for three months now, a spinal tumor left her paralyzed below her arms.
Her life had a tough beginning, sure, but little Evelyn isn’t letting her condition hold her back, and she has her parents’ genius engineering to thank: Originally, doctors told the Moores that their daughter would likely have to get by with army crawling until she was bigger and could get a wheelchair. But the couple knew they had to do something more for her. They wanted Evelyn’s life to be as normal as possible, despite all the challenges she’s faced.
“There weren’t too many options that were available,” Kimberly told ABC News, referring to Evelyn’s mobility. “When my daughter was diagnosed, we were more worried about keeping her alive than getting the insurance to get [a wheelchair] covered. We saw something on Pinterest, and Brad said he could build it. Within a day or two, it was done.”
For just $100, Brad was able to construct a Pinterest-inspired, toddler-friendly wheelchair using a cutting board, castor wheels and a Bumbo chair. The homemade wheelchair is absolutely genius — and it’s doing wonders for little Evelyn.
One of Evelyn’s doctors, pediatric oncologist Bev Wilson of Stollery Children’s Hospital in Alberta, tells ABC News that the homemade wheelchair has greatly improved the toddler’s mobility and social life. Plus, there’s another unexpected benefit to her unconventional mode of transportation: “She’s like any other child, but she’s actually faster,” Dr. Wilson told ABC News.
The Moores tell ABC News that the chair has made Evelyn so fast that they’ve had to install a speed bump in their home. But the proud parents wouldn’t have it any other way. “Her true person comes out when she’s in that chair,” Kimberly told ABC News. “She [now] has the same interactions as any other child would, being at eye level and exploring the world on the ground. … That’s what she is able to do in moving around. It’s pretty exciting.”