Five-year-old McKenna Card enjoys the Go Baby Go! car she received from Marymount University’s Department of Physical Therapy last year. She’s shown with Yuval Friedman of Good Beginnings.
Marymount University’s Department of Physical Therapy launched its Go Baby Go! Garage on Saturday, Sept. 17, an event that drew more than 200 people to the school’s Fairfax Drive facility and provided 12 special needs children with modified toy cars that will make them more mobile.
Go Baby Go! began in 2006 when a University of Delaware professor modified an off-the-shelf, battery-operated toy car so a child with mobility issues could use it to get around.
Dr. Skye Donovan, chair of MU’s Department of Physical Therapy, said the event was to let the public know that there is now a fully functioning chapter of Go Baby Go! that can donate cars to families that need them in the Metro D.C. Area. She said it also raised $13,000 for the cause. Amy O’Malley, a pediatrics physical therapist with Good Beginnings, co-chaired the event with Donovan.
In addition to building multiple Go Baby Go! cars, the day also included sessions with policy-makers invited to learn about the issues, a kids zone with child care and activities, therapy dogs from Caring Angels, a parent networking session and a forum for parents to discuss equipment-related issues.
Marymount’s doctor of physical therapy students have been building the cars since 2014 for patients in Northern Virginia and also in Costa Rica. Three children who had previously received cars were on hand to demonstrate how they worked.
In addition to Marymount, sponsors included Good Beginnings, Best Buddies, Caring Angels, Trader Joe’s, Harris Teeter, Cheesetique, Civitan International, Centreville Moose Lodge, Powerhouse Gaming, Children’s Speech and Language, Sidwell Summer, Infinite Technologies, Dominion Engineering, Rotary Club and Orthotic Solutions.
For more information, go to marymount.edu/gobabygo.