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Hot wheels

TV show spruces up 22-year-old's wheelchair

Posted: June 29, 2009 10:21 p.m.
Updated: June 30, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Twenty-two-year-old Robbie Argote-Carrillo and his mom Stacee Carrillo embrace outside their Canyon Country home with his new custom made wheelchair designed by Steve Flanagan of the television show "Paint Misbehavin'."

 
Up until last month, 22-year-old Robbie Argote-Carrillo used an old, basic wheelchair that wasn't too comfortable.

But with help from artist Steve Flanagan from the new TLC television show "Paint Misbehavin'," that "thrashed" wheelchair is no more.

The Canyon Country resident, who has cerebral palsy, now gets around in a personalized, red wheelchair with flame designs.

The family has seen a change in Robbie since the gift of the wheelchair.

"He sits up better in this one," said Stacee Carrillo, Robbie's mom.

Robbie proudly agreed.

"It's comfortable," he said.

Flanagan's original wheelchair to Argote-Carrillo, presented in May, featured heat-reactive paint that changed from red to pink.

A second wheelchair was created only with the color red and flames, after Argote-Carrillo didn't like the pink.

The wheelchair was the fourth for Argote-Carrillo, who began using one during his childhood.

As an added bonus, TLC camera crews followed Argote-Carrillo and his family for a segment on the show that debuted last week.

Carrillo recalled the filming, which she said gave her son a chance to shine in the spotlight.

"He was pretty excited about it," she said.

Carrillo was especially pleased that the show spotlighted the needs of people with disabilities.

Throughout the show, cameras followed Robbie and his family from Smart & Final grocery store in Newhall to their Canyon Country home.

Argote-Carrillo worked at Smart & Final for six months while he was a student at Transitional Learning Charter, a William S. Hart Union High School District school that teaches disabled adults life skills.

Argote-Carrillo, who attended Valencia High School before starting at the charter school, was able to take part in community-based instruction. Attending the charter school allowed Argote-Carrillo to become more independent as he learned daily activities, like how to take the bus, Carrillo said.

Earlier this month, Argote-Carrillo graduated from Transitional Learning Charter after two years at the school.

"It was a great program," she said.

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