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How this Jewish volunteer group engineered a frame to help Charlie walk hands-free

TJI Pick
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Published: 11 June 2021

Last updated: 4 March 2024

Melbourne’s Tikkun Olam Makers helped the seven-year-old, who lives with a calcium gene mutation which affects his movement and fine motor skills

"CHARLIE IS THE FIRST [person] globally to be diagnosed with his condition," his mum Anna Scholten explains.

"There are others with this particular gene, but he has a novel sequence [meaning his condition is unique]."

Charlie is able to attend school near his home in Melbourne with the help of a full-time aide, and he has a wheelchair and a walker to help with mobility.

But there's a problem. When Charlie's using his walker, he can't use his hands. It means he can't throw a ball, or walk while holding his parents' hands.

And Charlie's mum, Anna, worries that he may not be developing muscles to help improve his balance.

"Every walker designed for a disability, that I'm aware of, [needs] you to use your hands," she explains.

Charlie's not alone. For people who live with a disability, it can be difficult to find the right equipment or support for their needs.

It's a challenge that has been taken up by TOM Melbourne, short for Tikkun Olam Makers.

FULL STORY How volunteers engineered a frame to help Charlie walk hands-free (ABC)

Photo: Charlie Scholten (right) has a disability that affects his balance and movement (Courtesy: TOM Melbourne)

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