Local teen who lost wheelchair in car crash takes first ride in - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Local teen who lost wheelchair in car crash takes first ride in his brand new chair

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Madison (WKOW)-- The Baraboo teenager who was hit by a car while crossing the street in his wheelchair now has a new set of wheels.
16-year-old Drew Nachreiner has Cerebral Palsy and has to use a wheelchair to get around.

His motorized wheelchair was destroyed in the crash and for nearly a month he has had to use a non-motorized one. That meant that his friends and family had to push him around everywhere he went. This dependence on others frustrated Drew, who says all he wants is his independence back.

"Just to go to the library and play video games by myself. I like to be able to move around wherever I want to go," Nachreiner says.
On Monday, Drew was finally given that chance. After seeing his story on the news Home Health United decided to give him a free chair. Workers made a few last minute touches and measurements before giving it to Drew.

"I'm so excited. I just can't hide it," Nachreiner says.

The new chair has countless new features. It can tilt and lift so the weight distribution gets shifted to different parts of the chair. Not only will this give Drew more comfort, but it will allow him to sit with his family at the kitchen table. His other chair didn't have that capability. The chair also features three sets of wheels so Drew can go down curbs and small sets of stairs. The motor is also more powerful, which means Drew can travel faster. It's something he did a lot of Monday afternoon as he zipped up and down the hallways at Home Health United.

"It feels so great. So much better than my old chair. I can't even describe how happy I am," Nachreiner says.

Seeing him zip around on his own is a sight Drew's mother Stephanie Shanks has been waiting to see.

"He was laughing at me, because it brought tears to my eyes seeing him just cruising up and down the hallway. He just looks like Drew again," Shanks says.

Just when Drew thought this day couldn't get any better, a member of Home Health United's charitable foundation stopped by with a special surprise. They asked him if they could name their special fund that helps children who need wheelchairs after him.

"It's such an honor. The things people do to surprise me, it can get pretty crazy, " Nachreiner says.

The opportunity will give Drew the chance to do what he's always wanted to do, pay it forward and help other kids facing the same challenges he is.

"It just shows that people really care. Getting a bunch of people together for a cause can really make a positive difference," Shanks says.

After getting used to his new wheelchair, Drew and his mom had to rush back home to Baraboo for a job interview. Drew hopes to spend his Summer working for the Boys and Girls Club where he can use his unique sense of humor to brighten people's day.

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