Union High band member won't miss a beat in the Rose Bowl parade

Friday, November 30th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The Union High School band will play in the Rose Bowl parade on New Year's Day. For one member of the Renegade Regiment, it was an exciting but challenging proposition. Amanda Buwa is wheelchair-bound.

Thanks to a local company, she won't miss a beat of the parade. Amanda Buwa was born with Spina Bifida. By the time she was 14 years old, she'd gone through 15 surgeries. But it hasn't kept her from her dreams. "I never thought I'd get to do something like this." In January, this 16-year-old will be headed to Pasadena, California with the rest of the Union Renegade Regiment for the Tournament of Roses parade. She plays percussion and French horn.

When they started planning for the trip, Amanda's parents went online to find a used electric scooter she could use to be in the parade. Through a series of Emails, a local home medical equipment company found out about their dilemma and stepped in to help. Amanda's mother, Martha Buwa, "I was pretty shocked and obviously, we're real grateful for their generosity. Basically, without their help, we couldn't get her something this nice to participate in the band."

Mobility Plus in Tulsa let Amanda pick out the scooter she wanted at a discounted price. It's worth $3,000. Amanda’s is driving it for a third of that. Rusty Jones with Mobility Plus, "This is what makes us keep going here at Mobility Plus, to see how the equipment that we sell helps the patients and the customers, helps give them more independence, more freedom." Amanda's new scooter runs on two rechargeable batteries and can go more than five miles an hour. She says she's thankful for her new wheels. "I feel kinda special, makes me feel like I can do anything I want to."

Amanda says she'll take her new scooter to college with her in a couple of years. She hopes to attend OU and study graphic design or architecture.