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Dylan shows the way

BEN ROGERS
Last updated 05:00 19/04/2014
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BEN ROGERS

BIG SUPPORT: Dylan Schneider on his Segway surrounded by his mates from class four at Michael Park School.

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BEN ROGERS
SMOOTH OPERATOR: Dylan Schneider shows how it’s done on his Segway.

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Dylan Schneider thinks nothing of getting around on two wheels at school.

He uses a Segway, which makes life with muscular dystrophy much easier.

Pupils at Michael Park School know Dylan and his futuristic form of transport well. They're not usually allowed to have a turn, but last Friday was special.

The school held a Wheels Day to raise money for Muscular Dystrohpy NZ and the children brought their skateboards, bikes and scooters. There were two extra Segways so that everyone could have a go.

A course was set up on the school field so the kids could go zip around the cones. Dylan kicked things off by showing the others how it's done.

His teacher of three years, Fatemeh Abdollahi, has noticed a change in Dylan since he got his Segway.

"He has more confidence and is more active," she says.

Dylan's family applied to various trusts through CCS Disability Action to gain funding for the $8000 machine and received $7000. It's a second-hand reconditioned model that came with off-road tyres and a long-range battery.

One of Dylan's favourite pastimes is walking the dog with his family.

"Now he can conserve his energy on the Segway and expend it when he gets to his destination," his father Michael Schneider says.

"It offers the ability to join in with his friends and family and getting around without restriction because he gets so tired easily.

"The family went to Bethells Beach with off-road tyres on the Segway and went for an hour and a half walk. It was fantastic.

"If you can imagine you have bench-pressed kilos of weight all day, and you get sore jelly legs - if Dylan moves around too much in day that's what he feels like every day."

Muscular dystrophy is a neuromuscular condition which is genetic and primarily results in muscle wastage.

Symptoms can appear just after birth or for others not until much later in life. They are unpredictable and there is no cure.

Dylan's mother Debbie Schneider says the school has been great about the Segway and its students have formed a strong bond with her son.

Visit mda.org.nz for more information.

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- East And Bays Courier

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