EDMONTON – Sometimes when Eva Moore shows up to play dates, the other kids get jealous of her sweet set of wheels: a rolling purple Bumbo seat, decked out with a banner on the back.
“It’s not a toy; it’s her wheelchair,” her mother, Kim Moore, often has to explain to other toddlers.
The one-year-old does get around a lot faster than her friends, despite the fact that she’s paraplegic.
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Eight months ago, doctors found a tumour in Eva’s chest and back – Stage 4 neuroblastoma – which caused permanent damage to her spinal cord.
The infant endured emergency surgery, then eight rounds of chemotherapy. The procedures saved her life, but not her legs.
“This was one of the most powerful stories of resiliency I’ve ever seen,” pediatric oncologist Bev Wilson said.
Wilson says Eva has inspired her entire medical team at the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
While a dual diagnosis of cancer and paraplegia would have crushed most parents, the Moores managed to focus on what their daughter could do.
“(Eva’s parents) normalized her emotional experience, her social development,” Wilson explained. “When she normally would be a crawler, she was able to explore her world, like any other crawling infant would.”
The Moores found the idea for the chair on Pinterest, then built it themselves by screwing the seat and wheels into a regular cutting board. Eva loves it.
“It’s really funny – she clicks her wheels,” her mother said.
“When she gets really excited, she’ll click back and forth.”
And rolling herself around acts as physiotherapy, strengthening her upper body.
Though they recently had to install a speed bump in their living room, Eva’s parents hope her disability never slows her down.
“Just making sure she has the same abilities as any other one-year-old.”
Watch Below: Eva, her mom and Val from the Kids with Cancer Society joined Global News Morning to explain how a cancer diagnosis left the one-year-old as a paraplegic.