Hot Wheels

Facing multiple challenges, growing up has not been easy for Jagdishh. But a newfound love of cycling is doing wonders for his ongoing development. When Jagdishh was growing up, his parents noticed quite quickly that he wasn't progressing towards the expected milestones in a normal timeframe. "His development was slow," say Jagdishh's parents. "We got in to PMH where a series of tests were done and he was diagnosed with Global Development Delay."

This diagnosis was just the start of a series of challenges Jagdishh was set to face. "He has low muscle tone, Scoliosis, Epilepsy, a mild heart condition as well as poor eyesight," his parents explain. "Overall, he needs constant support at home and at school."

Jagdishh is able to attend school, but the impact his diagnosis has had on his learning means he is doing schoolwork at a grade seven level, despite being in grade 10. He is constantly in and out of hospital, undergoing surgeries designed to manually boost his growth and development in a way his body can't. Despite the immense challenges he faces in his day-to-day life, Jagdishh has discovered a love for music and enjoys playing the Tabla, the piano, and participating in singing lessons. And, thanks to a recent grant from Toybox, Jagdishh has discovered a love for cycling as well.

Through Variety WA, Toybox has provided Jagdishh with a bike that has been modified so that he can ride it independently. While Jagdishh is independent within many aspects of his daily routine, his development benefits greatly from using the bike. As he cycles, the activity helps build his underdeveloped muscles and also builds his confidence. Jagdishh's family knows the road to his independence will be long and take lots of effort, but the bike helps by allowing Jagdishh to be mobile and have some control over where he travels and how. Despite the many difficulties he faces, Jagdishh is a friendly and sociable boy who enjoys the many social and health benefits of exercising. He faces even more surgeries this year, which will require a long period of recovery, but for Jagdishh and his family the prospect of going out riding together again is well worth the struggle.

Troy Barbagallo