It’s an unexpected gift that will go a long way in the lives of four-year-olds Bella and Mila Winkler.
The twin sisters from Regina live with spectral cerebral palsy. Some days, they are able to move freely. On others, pain and muscle tightness affect their movement.
On Friday, they were surprised outside their home with a toy car, which has been adapted to support each of their needs.
“Mila has different abilities than Bella does, so they regulated it so that everything is electronic and through the wheel,” said mom Jaime.
“Everything they do they should be able to touch, pull, whatever. (Mila) doesn’t have to raise her legs or knees in any way.”
The girls wasted no time taking turns behind the wheel, which includes a bright red button to make the custom ride move.
Jaime said she’s already looking forward to integrating the gift into her daughters’ physical and occupational therapy programs at Wascana Rehabilitation Centre.
“To have something like this, on a day when they’re in an incredible amount of pain, they can still play and they still climb in,” said mom Jaime.
“And if (Mila) can’t do it by herself, we can strap her in there, we’ve got a remote control, and away we go.”
The gift was made possible through the Go Baby Go program, supported by Variety – The Children’s Charity with help from a group of Saskatchewan university students.
Twin sisters Jana and Robyn Ham founded Sask Masks along with two other business students from the University of Regina.
They began making face masks in early April to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus and raise money to support various charities.
While they have three organizations they support each week, Sask Masks also put out a call on Facebook.
“We kind of invite people to comment on our Facebook posts, asking what kind of charities would be most deserving. And Variety actually posted a video of their Go Baby Go program,” said Jana.
From there, the students donated a total of $2,500 to the charity, which more than covers the cost of an adapted toy car.
Three Sask Masks members were on hand for the surprise Friday, a moment the Ham sisters said was rewarding.
“It’s cool to be networked with a bunch of charities and kind of see their impact play out as well,” Jana said.