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People with disabilities on national waiting list for special bicycles

Messenger-Inquirer - 2/15/2020

Feb. 15--Most people enjoy riding bicycles.

For those with disabilities, the sport can be a challenge, but they can still participate. AmTryke Special Needs Tricycles makes models for people who can't walk, struggle with balance or face other types of disabilities.

There's only one problem: AmTryke cycles are a bit pricey.

According to the company's website, its trikes cost between $718 and $1,422, depending on the model.

Affording a luxury purchase like that can be tough for families who deal with special needs, said Erin Sieberkrob, Wendell Foster therapist. Along with the mortgage, car payments and grocery bills, families dealing with a disability face additional expenses, such as medications, special equipment, therapy sessions and out-of-town trips to visit specialists.

"Insurance doesn't pay for a bike for a child," Sieberkrob said.

To assist, AmTryke provides a national wish list website that links donors with children and adults who can benefit from a special-needs trike. Currently, Wendell Foster has 12 clients on the AmTryke Wish List.

More want to be added.

"We have individuals we want to add to the waiting list, but we can't because we have individuals who have been on the waiting list for two years. They haven't gotten a bike," Sieberkrob said.

Wendell Foster can't add more than 12 names to the wish list at a time.

The nonprofit hopes to find donors who will help its clients realize their dream of owning and riding a bike. Contributions for trikes should not go to Wendell Foster. Instead, they should be made at https://ambucs.org/riders/wish-list/wish-list-riders/.

Riding bicycle promotes physical and emotional well-being, Sieberkrob said.

"It helps (children with special needs) improve their endurance and get stronger," she said. "Besides, it helps them feel like a normal kid."

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, rbeasleyjones@messenger-inquirer.com.

Renee Beasley Jones, 270-228-2835, rbeasleyjones@messenger-inquirer.com

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