15 November 2018
Rebecca Mauger | Bay News, Tauranga
Toby Wilson's favourite part of the day is being pushed in his buggy or on his toddler bike accompanying his sister to school.
But Toby, who has Down syndrome, will soon outgrow his buggy and his toddler trike which has a parent pole.
The three year old with the beautiful smile does not have enough muscle tone or balance for a bicycle, so he requires a specialised trike or bike designed for children like him to remain active.
The Mazda Foundation is making this happen for him.
The Wilson family received a $6903.99 cheque from the Mazda Foundation last week to purchase a specialised trike.
Mum Nikki says they believe in giving Toby every opportunity to lead a life full of fun, adventure and challenge.
"He adores his six-year-old sister and wants to do everything she does," she say.
"Especially the physical activities. The trike recommended will last him approximately eight years." Nikki worries that taking Toby by car when he outgrows his toddler bike will affect him socially as well as physically.
"The biggest impact in taking the car would be the social interaction Toby has with the community. This would be reduced significantly. For some of the aged members of our community, a chat with Toby is the highlight of their day." Toby lights up their days with his chit-chat, she says.
"Rain or shine he commutes to the school his sister attends, to the supermarket, library and local activities.
"A specialised trike would mean Toby can continue to live life to the fullest, and continue to be an active member of his community." Nikki wants Toby to be seen in the community. She once read an article about Oprah Winfrey who stated that after thousands of interviews, she believes people just want to be seen.
"That quote reinforced my hopes for Toby and how tremendous it is for Toby to get a specialised trike." Nikki has been wondering how she was going to continue to get Toby seen out in the community once he out grew his current baby buggy and toddler trike.
"When the Mazda foundation phoned to tell us we were successful and Toby had full funding for his specialised trike, I burst into tears.
"Happy tears of joy." Toby's grant was part of more than $137,000 given to 36 recipients across New Zealand in the final Mazda Foundation funding round for 2018.
The trike has been ordered and Toby will receive his bike in one month.