Boy with cerebral palsy finally fulfills wish to visit the beach thanks to a special wheelchair

"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."
July 18, 2018 11:35 am Last Updated: July 18, 2018 11:35 am

It’s summer, so people across the country are embracing the nice weather by hitting the beach. But for some people with special needs, a day at the beach is, well, no day at the beach. The sand makes it difficult for people who rely on wheelchairs and walkers to get to the water.

Luckily, one community is making it possible—and making one young boy’s dreams come true.

Will Foss, a 12-year-old who suffers from cerebral palsy and relies on a walker, who lives just two miles from Peggotty Beach in Scituate, Massachusetts, but the rocky sands make visiting difficult.

“It’s been a long time since he’s been to the beach,” his dad Dave Foss told Boston 25 News. “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 anywhere near the water.”

Screenshot via Boston 25 News

But that all changed this summer. Thanks to Scituate’s Commission on Disabilities, wheelchairs specially designed for use on the beach are now being made available to people in need.

That means Will was finally able to get around his local beach. His father lifted him into the chair, and a triumphant Will wheeled into Peggotty Beach.

Screenshot via Boston 25 News

Will had the time of his life on the beach. With his father’s help, he was able to dip his toes into the water.

Foss was thrilled to see his son enjoying himself like anybody else.

“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.”

Screenshot via Boston 25 News

Now, Will can enjoy the beach like this whenever he wants, he just has to call and reserve the chair. Currently, there are two chairs available for the town’s five beaches, but the goal is to have one for each beach, ensuring that the beaches will be accessible for all.

“When you live here, on the South Shore, part of living here is living the life of the beaches and having fun,” Michelle Anne Murphy, the vice chair for Scituate’s Commission on Disabilities, told Boston 25 News.

“Our whole role is to make Scituate more accessible and to advocate for those citizens and people that need help.”

Screenshot via Boston 25 News

The Foss family definitely plan to take advantage of the inspiring inclusivity: “You wanna come back this weekend, buddy?” Foss asked his son as they left the beach.

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

Screenshot via Boston 25 News