West Ada

Treasure Valley teenager gets new wheelchair from the Make-A-Wish Foundation

A Treasure Valley teenager born with spina bifida received a wheelchair with outdoor capabilities from Make-A-Wish Idaho Saturday.

Bryce Howell, 14, is on the Capital High School track team and loves the outdoors. But, when he'd go camping or exploring with his friends and family, he felt limited.

"I couldn't really get through trails in the foothills," he said. "I want to get my Eagle Scout (badge), so it's kind of mandatory that I have to be outdoors, because camping's part of the requirements. I don't really like to be inside more than I have to."

That's why he asked Make-A-Wish for the Action Trackchair Stander, a wheelchair that Howell can take off-roads and be upright in. Howell didn't know his wish was approved until Saturday, and was surprised to see people roll the chair right up to him in Stephen C. Guerber Park in Eagle Saturday afternoon.

"I was just so excited that they showed up with this amazing thing," he said. "I was so excited."

His parents were also thrilled.

"I think it's going to help him get out and do lots of things that have been really challenging for him to do," said his mother, Lorraine Howell.

AnnMarie Johnson, a wish granter with Make-A-Wish, said they picked Bryce Howell because his story was so compelling.

"He knew about this chair. He told us about it, so our job as wish granters was to go out and work with the local office to find the people who made it, and we ended up being able to have one custom built for him."

Bryce Howell was ready to take it adventuring.

"I think I'll probably take it camping and basically anywhere outdoors," he said.