About six months ago Nathan’s PT asked me if I wanted a bike for Nathan. I kinda shrugged in a that-would-be-great-but-how’s-he-going-to-ride it way.
There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who believe things will happen without much work and those who doubt things will happen even with a lot of work. I tend to fall into the latter category. Everything, and I mean everything, has been a struggle for Nathan. When he was a baby it was breathing and eating. Now, at five eating continues to be hard. Along with walking, talking, peeing, attending, basically anything you’d expect a 5 year-old to be doing by now.
Sometimes I have to ride on the winds of other people who believe things will happen. That’s what I did with Nathan’s PT. I did my very best pretending and said, “Sure! I would love for him to ride a bike.”
So his PT worked with a local not-for-profit called Capital City AMBUCS to get Nathan a very specialized bike. The bulk of the money needed to cover the cost of the bike was raised by AMBUCS itself through its community fundraising efforts, though we contributed some and family members gifted him with money toward the bike. The bike is absolutely beautiful and I’m so thankful that he has a therapeutic tricycle he is able to ride.
These types of bikes are called Amtrykes and they help people with disabilities improve their motor skills, strength and coordination. They are also a fun way for kids with disabilities to interact and have fun with their peers. To me this is one of the most amazing aspects of Nathan’s tryke. It gives him a new form of mobility and therefore inclusivity.
During a therapy session at the beginning of summer Nathan was out riding in the cul-du-sac alongside his big brother and the neighbor kids. They were “chasing” him around and he was laughing constantly. When it is cool enough for him to be outside, Nathan’s bike has made therapy sessions a lot of fun.
AMBUCS Promotes Abilities, Not Disabilities
I can’t say enough good things about AMBUCS. I love that it “promotes abilities, not disabilities.” It has made me a believer that amazing things can happen with the right equipment. If you feel compelled to donate to this amazing organization you can do so easily on the AMBUCS site. If you are a person who is interested in getting a bike for a friend or loved one, check the national AMBUCS website to see if there is a local chapter in your area. The wait list can vary and applications are done through a licensed physical or occupational therapist.
Our family loves to go on bike rides. Right now Nathan travels in a trailer behind my husband’s bike, but who knows, maybe one day he will be pedaling alongside us. This adaptive bike is opening a whole new set of possibilities, not just in Nathan’s reality, but in my mind as well.
My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!
Also be sure to check out my list of Favorite Books on Disability!