Go Baby Go! helps disabled kids get moving

- Ten kids inspecting their shiny plastic race cars don't have time to dwell on their disabilities. That's why they're taking part in "Go Baby Go!" -- a partnership between the University of Central Florida and Orlando Health that gives them customized miniature cars to help them get around.

Paxton Pudney, from Winter Garden, has Prader-Willi Syndrome, a genetic condition that leads to a range of developmental impairments.

"He's been working on building strength, trying to build mobility to try living as much of a normal life as possible, I guess," says Sean Pudney, Paxton's father.

There were ten children from as far away as Georgia collecting cars on Friday, hoping for a shot at better mobility.

"He can't chase his brother around the house, he can't walk to the playground and back, so hopefully this will help him do those things," Sean says.

Automatic wheelchairs can cost thousands of dollars, but the physical therapy students at UCF are outfitting these motorized roadsters for these kids, for free.

"At such a young age, this is a fragile moment in their lives, so it's special to know that I can take part in that and shape the way they grow in the future," says Victor De Rosa, a UCF physical therapy student.

The program is funded by a $15,000 grant from Orlando Health, whose staff member say they are thrilled to help.

"Most important, is that they get mobility, they get freedom, they get health from this," says Lainie Fox Ackerman, Orlando Health Director of Community Benefit.

This is one of two big builds where students will customize cars for these kids. They'll also put together several more on an as-needed basis throughout the year.  Last year, they assembled 40 classy coupes, and the families are grateful.

"We wouldn't be able to do this on our own. It's a lot of knowledge and money to do these kind of things," Sean says.

Anyone who feels their children could use one of these mini-cars is welcome to apply for one at www.ucfgobabygo.org.
 

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