TURLOCK (CBS13) — A Turlock grocery store will be the first in our region to get shopping carts designed for children with disabilities, and a local mom is pushing to get even more stores to carry them.
Some families of kids with disabilities say they stop going to the grocery store altogether, because it can get complicated. But they say something as simple as what’s rolling into the Save Mart in Turlock could change all of that.
Madison Gustafson is going grocery shopping for the first time in a year.
“She has cerebral palsy she can get around a little bit on her own but definitely not when we do big things like grocery trips,” said her mom Keri Gustafson.
Keri stopped taking Madison, because she says it just became too difficult.
“We tried squeezing her into the little basket seats, until she was about 8 or 9,” Keri said. “Sometimes I’d put her in the big basket but then I could only get a few groceries.”
Carolina Alfaro knows exactly what the mother is going through.
Two of her sons were born with a rare genetic disorder that left them without the ability to talk or walk. A trip to the grocery store while pushing their wheelchairs was a challenge.
“It’s an everyday activity that most moms get to do on a normal basis,” she said.
Several years after Diego and Adrian passed away, Carolina heard about Caroline’s Cart. It’s a shopping cart designed for special-needs kids. She spoke to store manager Greg Wagenman, and within two months, the Turlock Save Mart got the cart.
It has a reclining chair for kids with weak back muscles, a five-point harness seatbelt, a foot rest, and extra wheels with locks to stop it from tipping over.
“It’s very exciting you know of course I wish my children were still here with me,” Alfaro said.
She believes her sons would be proud of her work.
For Madison, she now gets to do what she loves: grocery shopping with her mom.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the place the other day and that’s how emotional it was to see these kids sit in this cart and just glow,” Wagenman said.
Eventually, he wants all his local families with kids with disabilities to give them a call, and they’ll meet them out there in the parking lot with a shopping cart.
The Save Mart and Trader Joe’s in Modesto also now carry Caroline’s Cart. The carts cost about $850 each.