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Engineering Students Design Special Wheelchair For Girl With Muscular Dystrophy

Rachel Groves /

LSU Engineering students have built a special wheelchair, designed for cruising beaches, in response to an inspiring essay from a girl with muscular dystrophy. Cheslyn Simpson of Plaquemine loves beaches, but is wheelchair bound. Blaize Vansickel from Livingston Parish says it’s technology for a better quality of life.


Vansickel says that the wheelchair will "give her (Simpson) autonomy."


The project got off the ground with a contribution from an LSU donor, but since then has been mostly self-funded. Vansickel says they’re getting close to a finished product.


Vansickel says, "We are very confident that they're going to work."


If the wheelchair works, Vansickel says they hope they can have it mass produced for others, who love a trip to the beach, but are wheelchair bound. He says working on the project has been a joy.


Vansickel says, "It's always incredible when you can help somebody who really needs it."


They’ve setup a GoFundMe for donations, and also accept support through the LSU Foundation under team 43.