PACIFIC BEACH (CBS 8) - A Pacific Beach girl born with Cerebal Palsy has received the gift of a lifetime, a special wheelchair that allows her to get down to the beach.
What seems like a simple outing is actually very difficult for Riley Phelps. She was born with Cerebral Palsy and lives her life in a wheelchair, but has been surfing with her dad since she was little. Most beaches don't have an access point for those with challenges and getting to the water is difficult, usually requiring assistance for Riley - but no longer!
Riley has received a custom-built "Box Beach Bomber Wheelchair" from local nonprofit Challenged Athletes Foundation's Grant Program.
The gift will provide independent and unlimited access to any beach she wants to visit as she'll be able to traverse through sand without relying on old sand chairs provided haphazardly at different locations. The chair also has a surfboard holder built into it to she'll have some independence during beach visits.
Riley requested the Box Beach Bomber Wheelchair specifically through the grant program, which helps the recipients obtain the equipment and/or training they need to be active in the sports of their choosing.
Here is a portion of Riley's grant application:
"I was born with Cerebral Palsy due to a twin transfusion where my identical twin passed away before I was born. My dad and my brother take me everywhere and I have been adapted surfing since my dad first took me when I was 3 or 4. My parents took me in a pool for lessons starting at 6 months even with my disability and I love being in water, especially in waves riding them. My dream is to go to the beaches with my dad and brother that don't have access normally for someone disabled so we can surf the beaches we want, not just the beaches that have the big fat tired beach wheelchairs, that many time are rusted or have tires that are under inflated."
Riley received her $4,000 wheelchair in April.
Learn more about the Challenged Athletes Foundation here.
Some of the footage in this video story was shot using a GoPro camera.