Going shopping with mom is more of a challenge for nine-year-old Brynn Chappell of Langley than it is for most other kids.
Brynn has cerebral palsy, and while she can get around using a walker, it takes a lot of physical effort.
During an excursion to the grocery store, Brynn can get tired and a little crabby, dad Jay says.
Mom Lore will sometimes put a booster seat in a shopping cart, but it’s really a bit too small for a child Brynn’s age.
Trying to co-ordinate a wheelchair for Brynn, together with a shopping cart and Brynn’s younger brother Ryder, seven, is just not practical.
On Saturday morning, the Chappells were introduced to a better solution, a purpose-built shopping cart for older kids and adults with special needs and their caregivers.
“Caroline’s Cart” comes with a roomy seat and five-point safety harness, along with front and back brakes.
The Langley Elks #259 and Save-On-Foods have partnered to introduce the cart to the Langley City Save-On near 201 Street on Fraser Highway.
With a small crowd looking on, Brynn was at first reluctant to try the cart, but once she was settled in, she gave a shy nod when she was asked if it was comfortable.
“Let’s go shopping,” she told her mom.
The cart was designed by the mother of Caroline Long, a special needs child with Rett’s Syndrome from Alabama.
In an YouTube video, Drew Long explained she reached the end of her tether one day while trying to co-ordinate a grocery shopping trip with two of her children, one in a wheelchair.
“I remember so desperately struggling with a wheelchair, a two-year-old and a shopping cart,” Long said.
“I literally sat down and I jotted out on paper and pencil a design of a shopping cart that would not only benefit Caroline but many (other) children as well.”
The design won the interest of grocery cart manufacturer Technibilt in North Carolina, which is part of the Cari-All Group that constitutes North America’s largest shopping cart manufacturer.
The first carts started shipping to retailers in September, 2013. Save-On-Foods has introduced the carts at more than a dozen locations so far.