Green wheels give Jacob independence

After four years in an uncomfortable hand-me-down wheelchair Jacob White is a free man.

The 16-year-old Corrimal High School student has taken possession of a $17,000 custom-made ‘‘grasshopper green’’ machine and he couldn’t be more excited.

Jacob, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was stuck in an old chair that had become so uncomfortable he used a walker, a manual chair or sometimes just crawled around his home.

But thanks to Illawarra charity KidzWish, Jacob’s dream to be independent came true yesterday when he received his wheels in front of his excited classmates.

The Bellambi teenager said the chair lived up to expectations.

‘‘It’s really good, I’m really excited. I’ve always liked the colour and now I’m sitting in it, it’s really comfortable,’’ Jacob said.

‘‘It’s going to give me freedom.’’

KidzWish director Chris Beaven read a story about Jacob’s dilemma in the Illawarra Mercury and immediately called an emergency meeting of her appeals committee to approve the funding.

‘‘Jacob tells me it has changed his life,’’ she said yesterday.

‘‘That’s pretty amazing, to be part of changing someone’s life.

‘‘All his dreams can come true now, he doesn’t have to worry about getting to places, he can get there on his own.’’

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