KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A 4-year-old boy suffering from Spinal Muscular Atrophy received a specialized toy to meet his needs this Christmas.
Gabriel Hodgson’s condition will keep him in a wheelchair for life, but thanks to a local non-profit, he can now ride in style.
GoBabyGo Rocky Top gave the boy a customized toy Jeep with three large color buttons.
“Instead of having to muscle it with his arm, he can just hit a switch and be a knucklehead like any other kid,” said Pete Capell, a volunteer with GoBabyGo Rocky Top.
“It’s going to let him play outside with his brothers and sister. When they go out to play, he usually has to stay indoors,” explained the boy’s father, Uriah Hodgson.
Financially, it’s a relief for Gabriel’s parents, who have three other children.
“His brothers and sister have made huge sacrifices so he can have the things he needs. We’re not talking small sacrifices. They’ve missed Christmas in the past because of medical costs.”
“Just the feeling that you can give a kid mobility that they wouldn’t otherwise have. To let them be a kid for a while. You can’t put a price on it,” Capell said, about how it’s so rewarding for him.
The Hodgson family currently lives in an apartment complex; one they say is not very wheelchair accessible. The family is searching for a new home to live in, where Gabriel will have space to play in his new Jeep.