A Cape Town man has come up with an innovative walker allowing children with physical disabilities, the opportunity to stroll around… he has also made it his mission to make as many as possible for South Africans who need them but can’t afford it!
Cape Town, South Africa – It all began when Derek Boshard was searching the web for a “walker” for his disabled daughter, Erin, who so desperately wanted to walk, yet needed assistance to do so. She has a fairly rare genetic disorder called Dup15q which is is a neurodevelopmental disorder, caused by the partial duplication of Chromosome 15, that confers a strong risk for autism spectrum disorder, epilepsy, and intellectual disability. It is the most common genetic cause of autism, accounting for approximately 1-3% of cases.
Boshard decided that instead of buying such an expensive one, he would try to build a mobility device for his special needs daughter after buying one proved to be too expensive.
“I drew up some sketches and began a foray into industrial design. I tried various materials and was eventually educated in the many uses of PVC pipe! Thus began a few years of designing and building PVC walkers for Erin.
People have seen Erin in videos on Facebook, scooting around in her nifty blue & charcoal walker, making her legs and core stronger, and above all, giving her freedom! Being able to walk has allowed her to roam around the house, unaccompanied, and enriching her life.”
Boshard has since built walkers for other kids who, like Erin, also have conditions that have resulted in the inability to walk unassisted but cannot afford the hefty price tag that comes with it. Their conditions include cerebral palsy, GDD (global development delay) and brain damage from birth, but what they all have in common is the desire to roam the world! 🙂
“I’m receiving requests from families, schools and organisations to make walkers for them, so I have decided to put more time, research and development, and resources into making this into a small business to make and supply affordable walkers all over Africa, and who knows, maybe all over the world!”
Boshard is hoping to raise funds so that he can set up his garage with the right tools and materials to build more walkers, and to build them faster.
“I want to be able to donate walkers to families and sample walkers to schools. I have a potential order for 80 walkers in a rural environment, so I need to train up an apprentice and pay this person’s wages. Furthermore, I need to invest time and resources into new walker designs. I have an Indoor Walker, and I’m presently sourcing materials for a Beach Walker and an All-terrain Walker!”
Watch the video below or click here if you want to donate to the cause: