• New wheelchair allows 12-year-old with cerebral palsy to finally enjoy beach


    A 12-year-old with cerebral palsy got the red carpet treatment as he rolled up to the beach in a special kind of wheelchair.

    Dave Foss and his 12-year-old-son Will haven't been able to make the trip to the beach for years, even though they live just two miles away.

    Will's cerebral palsy normally prevents him from enjoying the beach, with the rocky sand at Peggotty Beach creating a problem when Will uses his walker.

    "It's been a long time since he's been to the beach," Dave Foss said. "We go to Florida, and he goes to the beach a little bit, but it's hard to carry him from the parking lot to the water."

    Now, Will has a new wheelchair to use, made especially for beach use. With the help of his father, Will got to be like any other kid at the beach.

    "It totally opens it up for everybody," Foss said. "It's hard as a parent of somebody who has special needs in so many ways, and just to have some normal activity that others are doing, and do it with them, is a great thing for a family."

    Michelle Anne Murphy, the vice chair for Scituate's Commission of Disabilities, said the town now has two beach wheelchairs for its five public beaches.

    "When you live here, on the South Shore, part of living here is living the life of the beaches and having fun," Murphy said. "Our whole role is to make Scituate more accessible and to advocate for those citizens and people that need help."

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    The biggest challenge now for the Foss family? Trying to get Will off of the beach, rather than on.

    "I would have never been able to do that without this thing," Foss said. 

    The beach wheelchair will stay at Peggotty Beach, but if anyone needs to use it at any beach, they can call the town and ask to reserve it.

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