The Evening Kiwanis Club of Delaware recently presented its second bicycle to a local youngster with developmental disabilities. AmTrykes are specially designed and hand-built bicycles and tricycles for children of all ages and adults.
These bikes are designed to accommodate whatever disability the user may have and allow them to propel the bike however they can — whether it is by pedaling with their feet, with their arms and hands, using both hands and feet, or in extreme cases with a special handle for a family member or caregiver to help guide and push them.
Matty Wolfe, 6, was overjoyed to receive his specially designed tricycle with accommodations for his disabilities associated with Down syndrome. Until recently, the only way Matty got around the neighborhood was by being pulled by one of his parents in a wagon.
Because of his disability, his bike has a special rear handle which can be used to push, steer and with its own hand brake, be brought safely to a full stop. Matty’s feet for the time being are positioned in special straps that will keep them on the bike’s pedals which will help to exercise and strengthen his legs. .
This past January, the club presented its first bicycle to 10-year-old Anna Varvel, who suffers from Edwards Syndrome. Children born with Edwards Syndrome may exhibit various symptoms, but commonly are smaller in stature and slower to physically mature.
Until the presentation of this specially designed bicycle, Anna could not operate a regular bike.
The bike allows her greater confidence to ride a bike like any other child and as reported to the group, has given Anna a newfound freedom. Anna’s mom told Kiwanians how much she enjoys her bicycle and how she rides throughout the neighborhood going to friends’ homes to play.
The Evening Kiwanis Club began making plans to present several AmTryke bikes during the 2015-16 administrative year while one of its members was serving as Division 11-South Lt. Governor.
That year’s Ohio District Kiwanis Governor, Amy Zimmerman, drew from her family’s volunteer background when she proposed the AmTryke project to district clubs. Both of her parents were involved with the GreeneBucs, a Dayton, Ohio chapter of the National AMBUCS organization. AMBUCS, which works to create mobility and independence for people with disabilities, owns and works with trike-builder AmTryke.
Her original hopes were that Ohio Kiwanis Clubs could present at least 26 AmTrykes, but many clubs continue to embrace the project and have presented almost 100 bikes to children and adults.
Many adult recipients of bikes are wounded warriors and enjoy being able to ride a grownup version of an AmTryke. Over the past year, the club has worked to raise money to present at least two tricycles.
Kiwanis’ motto is, “Serving the Children of the World.”