The Panthera Micro manual wheelchair weighs about nine pounds, making it perfect for kids with SMA. The chair being light is important because SMA kids have weak upper body strength. They are made in Sweden and are hard to find. We’re purchasing some chairs to loan out to SMA families who need them.
We’re purchasing some lightweight manual chairs to loan out to SMA families who need them. Get the details below. Apply online.
As a general rule insurance companies do not pay for both a power chair and a manual one. So you definitely want them to pay for the power chair which can cost around $35,000. But a one-year-old that gets diagnosed needs a manual chair too. The light manual chair provides instant mobility for a child that has never had mobility. But this chair can cost $3,500. The Chase Me Project takes the financial concern and need off the parents for a few years. This is a definite bright spot, especially after receiving a diagnosis.
Apply online. We’ll select families from the pool of applicants and provide each one with a Panthera Micro manual chair on a two to three year loan. Once your child has outgrown the chair, we’ll loan it to another family in need.
Evie was diagnosed with SMA Type 2 in August 2008. Jeff and I were devastated. After getting over the initial shock of learning that Evie would never walk, we made an appointment with one of the nation’s top SMA physicians. In March 2009, we made our first trip to Salt Lake City to see Dr. Kathryn Swoboda, an SMA specialist.
Evie was weak, and we knew she was going to need special equipment to allow her independence and mobility. We figured a power chair was her only option; we never thought in a million years that she would be able to propel a manual chair. While in SLC, we noticed the smallest wheelchair we had ever seen in the doctor’s office. Abby, Dr. Swoboda’s nurse, told us to put Evie in the chair; to try it out. Jeff and I were skeptical. But we put her in this chair, and within seconds she was moving by herself for the first time in her life (She was three years old.). The first words out of her mouth were, “Chase me, Daddy.” For the next 30 minutes, she and Jeff chased each other up and down the hall in the middle of the doctor’s office. It was a site to behold! My baby was moving, and you couldn’t wipe the smile off her face! You could only imagine the excitement, the joy, the thrill we all were feeling for Evie at that moment. She was able to propel this chair, because it was so light weight. It was only 9 pounds; the lightest pediatric chair in the world. So, of course, Jeff and I wanted this chair for her, but this particular chair had already been given away to another SMA child. Abby helped me contact the mother that donated this chair to their office. This mother has a daughter with SMA type 2 also. I called her as soon as we got home from SLC. Unfortunately, this chair is made in Europe and was very difficult to purchase if you live in the US. This kind mother is from Germany and helped me order the same type of chair for Evie. She didn’t know me at all, but yet she was willing to help me because she knew how important it was for our children to have mobility and independence.
Through the years of caring for a child with SMA, Jeff and I know how very important this chair has been for Evie. It has allowed her independence and mobility; it has given her confidence and the ability to be social without mom standing right beside her. This chair has been such a blessing in our lives! We want this for every SMA child; to give them the same independence it gave Evie. So these parents can hear their children say, “Chase Me, Daddy!”