I recently worked on a story about a little girl with cerebral palsy who uses a power wheelchair and really wants to learn how to walk on her own.
The story is about a study that looks at how increased mobility could also influence a child’s cognitive and emotional development. But beyond that, it’s about a little girl and her family – a young mother with a trendy haircut, and a little girl who cares more about her new dog, Charlie, than the fact that she can maneuver her pink-framed wheelchair.
TV cameras surrounded the three-year-old, her family, and the local researcher during a press conference Tuesday. These are the questions I snuck in during the meeting:
1. How is this study on infant wheelchair mobility different than other ones before it?
The answer: The researcher said it has more random selection, and the children can use their wheelchairs at home, away from the medical facility.
2. How does using a wheelchair at an early age affect her physical therapy and personal mobility?
The answer: Mom and professor both agree it makes her want to be more mobile when she’s not in the chair. She tries to crawl and walk on her own, even though she gets tired easily.
I shot my first video with this story, which I’m really excited about (at least part of the shots are mine). Like the TV reporters standing around me, we were looking for chances to show you who this little girl really is. I hope the research continues and they are able to make some headway. It seems like a good start to a good program.