“Eloise is incredibly strong and determined. She’s got that type of personality that people are drawn to,” said mum, Nichole.
10-year-old Eloise is a competitive, bright girl who loves to take on new adventures. Eloise enjoys tap and ballet dancing, loves playing hockey and enjoys running where she has participated in state level competition in long distance runs.
“She’s become an extraordinary advocate for herself and for people living with a disability. If there is something she wants to do and it’s not offered to the multi-class category, she will question it and ask why she can’t do it. She likes to take on new opportunities when presented to her. She’s so understanding and grateful for these opportunities too,” said mum, Nichole. “It’s quite amazing to watch her like this!”
Eloise is living with an acquired brain injury resulting in cerebral palsy, vision impairment, epilepsy and a mild intellectual disability.
“As these all have their subcategories, it does affect her in different ways. For example: she does get neuropathic pain sometimes or weakness in her body.”
Prior to her new Freedom Wheels bike, Eloise had ridden other standard bikes which were not suitable for her at all.
“Even though her lower body was strong, the pedals were still too hard for her to push.”
“Every time she would hop on a bike, she was full of anxiety and we just realised a bike was no longer an ideal goal for her. We needed to focus on things she needs. But a few years ago, she came to us and told us she wanted to ride a bike just like her friends, so we jumped straight to it and reached out to her physiotherapist.”
Upon arriving at her Freedom Wheels assessment, Eloise panicked. With the help of the team at Freedom Wheels, Eloise began to feel more comfortable and was able to complete her assessment.
Nichole said, “The team was so calm with her. They didn’t rush us but they gave us time to sit there and reassure her that it was okay and there was no problem not getting on a bike. Nothing was forced on Eloise and they even went through the whole process to let her know what was happening and what the purpose of the assessment was. It made her feel so comfortable where she then hopped on the bike.”
“Seeing Eloise on the bike, I was in tears. She was so excited and didn’t want to get off. She kept yelling out, “Look, I can finally ride a bike mum! I can do it. Watch out world, here I come!” She knew from there how certain she was that she wanted this bike. She was ready to take on the world!”
Nichole was so thankful for Freedom Wheels and the commitment provided to ensure Elouise got the perfect bike. When asked what she would say to other families looking for their own custom bike, Nichole said, “Give it a try, you got nothing to lose! There is SO much to gain from it.”
“Freedom Wheels are an incredible organisation. They’re patient and knowledgeable and have only the interest and goals of the child or client in mind. The ranges of modifications are mind blowing and I had no idea of the extent that the bike could be modified to meet Eloise’s exact needs! Freedom Wheels just wants to see our children reach their goal, that is their priority.”
“HUGE shout out to Freedom Wheels – TAD and St George Foundation. The kind and generous gifting of this customised bike to Eloise is nothing short of amazing. Receiving this selfless and generous gift is such a honour, we feel very blessed. Eloise cannot wipe the smile off her face. What you have given Eloise is life changing. We could never possibly thank you enough!”