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Scooter gives Leon new freedom

MARYKE PENMAN
Last updated 05:00 23/07/2013
Leon Ogilvy
Maryke Penman
SWEET RIDE: Murrays Bay man Leon Ogilvy, 22, won this new mobility scooter to replace his old manual wheelchair and walking frame.

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Unitec student Leon Ogilvy, 22, is the proud owner of a sleek new set of wheels. He says they will make living with cerebral palsy a whole lot easier.

Furniture and electronics store DTR Panmure chose Leon from dozens of competition entries earlier in the year after reading a heartfelt nomination from his older brother Sam Ogilvy.

The keys to the Pathrider 10 mobility scooter were handed over to Leon at Unitec's Carrington Campus in front of Auckland Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse and close family members.

In his nomination brother Sam described how the limitations of Leon's manual wheelchair and walking frame meant he often had to spend his lunchtimes alone.

"He cannot access the common area from his classroom on his walker or in his wheelchair - it is too far for him to push himself."

The scooter will give Leon the independence he craves and allow him to do more of what he loves such as hanging out with mates, going for walks with the dog and getting around without the assistance of carers who "cramp his style", Sam says.

Since the beginning of this year the young Murrays Bay man has studied a computer and employment course for five days a week at Unitec in Pt Chevalier.

Navigating his way around the 55 hectare campus in either a walker or manual wheelchair is a daily struggle, he says.

"In this I can go anywhere as fast as my friends and I don't have to be pushed."

The Pathrider 10, valued at about $3000, is a lightweight battery-powered scooter with a maximum speed of 8.5 kmh.

It can cover a distance of about 40 kilometres per charge and can be folded down for transport.

At the presentation ceremony Leon quickly mastered the steering and was already joking about the various alterations he could make to "pimp" it out.

The scooter is part of the DTR Independent Living range available to rent at stores around New Zealand.

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- North Shore Times

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