Houston, Texas – On January 12, 2019 from 8am – 11am at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston, 13 children will receive a second dose of holiday cheer in the form of a brand new shiny red bike. Not just any bike, though, an Amtryke. The Amtryke is an adaptive pediatric tricycle designed for children with special needs.
These tricycles were chosen by their physical or occupational therapist and custom built to suit each of their special needs. Hundreds of available adaptive accessories – including seats, handlebars, hand assists, foot assists, side support and more – overcome the riding challenges of each. Most, becoming successful riders for the first time ever. Members of the media and public are welcome to attend what promises to be an incredibly uplifting event.
Members of the media may also find the bike build of interest. On Friday, January 11 from 1 to 5 pm in the Shriners’ atrium, nine members of Longview AMBUCS, therapy students from the Houston Medical Center and some Shriners patients will work together to build 13 trikes.
Local therapists are also encouraged to visit the Shriners Hospital atrium on Friday, January 11 from 1 to 5 pm or on Saturday, January 12 from 8 to 10 am to view and demo Amtryke adaptive tricycles with their clients who would benefit.
So, how did this second holiday miracle come about? It all started with the Longview, Texas-based AMBUCS chapter and their yearly effort as Santa’s Helpers. Each year they print out all the riders waiting for Amtryke funding within 500 miles and ask their 100 members, “If you are going to, through or near any of these locations on your Holiday travels and you have space in your vehicle, why not take a detour to make a deserving child happy?” They routinely take dozens off the list, funding and delivering joy throughout Texas and neighboring states…and even as far away as Kentucky.
This year they noticed a cluster of 13 riders within 30 miles of Houston and got to work. They contacted Variety – The Children’s Charity of Texas and pitched the organization on “$10,000 to fund 13 ride-ready Amtrykes, adapted to each recipient’s specific physical needs as instructed by a licensed physical therapist.”Supportive of this collaborative effort, Variety’s Ruthie Hanna said, “We are thrilled to partner with AMBUCS and Shriners to provide the gift of mobility to such deserving children. We understand the value of exercise, activity and quality recreational time alongside friends and family. That’s what Variety is all about.”
The chapter also reached out to each of the referring therapists to identify a host site for the giveaway. The Shriners Hospital quickly stepped forward as a host for the build, display and giveaway.
“Our hospital is truly grateful to be distributing these Amtrykes,” said Armand Viscarri of Shriners Houston. “Our goal on a daily basis is to see our patients get up and move! The opportunity to host this event will let us accomplish this everyday goal. Aside from this, the adaptive tricycles will mean the world to patients who typically may not have had access to them or are always looking for adaptive resources. Shriners Hospitals for Children — Houston, strives to change lives and bring the best care possible to local children and those that come to us from all over the world. This collaboration with AMBUCS and Variety reinforces this.”
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