Marwan's Story

A new manual wheelchair helps to get Marwan moving. 

When Marwan’s family had their application for a manual wheelchair declined by the NDIS, Variety stepped in with a We Move grant covering the steep $17,000 cost. 

Variety NSW/ACT provides We Move grants, bringing joy and support to families just like Marwan’s.  

Marwan’s mum, Zeenathul, knew something wasn’t quite right with her second born son when he was having difficulty moving his little body at just six weeks of age.  

“I took him to the GP and he was very quickly transferred to the hospital for gene testing and a range of physical assessments. He was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1 the very next day,” she said.  

Marwan’s diagnosis affects his muscle movement so as he grows, the family is always looking into options to keep Marwan comfortable, safe and mobile.  

“He had his first scooter when he was 12 months old and that lasted him for two years before he outgrew it and he began using a power wheelchair. The power wheelchair is useful in some circumstances, but we can’t take it to the shops, to the hospital or to the park as we don’t have an accessible vehicle to transport it,” said Zeenathul.  

“We have been using a stroller but Marwan has now outgrown that and given he also has scoliosis, it’s really no longer safe for him to be in a stroller for very long.”  

When the NDIS declined the family’s application for a manual wheelchair, Zeenathul applied for a Variety We Move grant to cover the steep $17,000 cost.  

“We have had to make a number of modifications to our home recently to make it safer and easier for Marwan to get around and we just couldn’t see a way to afford another large expense,” she said.  

Marwan’s new manual wheelchair will make a world of difference to him, and to the family.  

“The new wheelchair is easy to fold, its easily transportable and so adaptable for use in all kinds of different community settings.

“It also means Marwan can use his hands to push the wheels so it’s great for him as well – if he doesn’t want to wait for us to push him, he has the freedom and independence to do things for himself.”   

“We are just so grateful to Variety for making this happen – we never imagined they would be able to help this much!’  

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Variety – the Children’s Charity supports kids (aged 0-18) who are sick, experiencing disadvantage or living with a disability. Our vision at Variety is for all Australian children to attain their full potential, regardless of ability or background. We’re passionate about all kids deserving a fair go, believing no child should fall through the gaps.

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