Photos courtesy of CSULB.
On Saturday, Cal State Long Beach’s Physical Therapy Student Club gave away adaptive tricycles to children with special needs, university officials announced.
The club hosted the Long Beach chapter of AmTryke, the SoCalTrykers. Thanks to a grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and the Trial Lawyers Association, 14 area children were given tricycles, according to the release.
“Our students have been invested in connecting with the community through service within their field of practice and have chosen to support SoCalTrykers,” said Physical Therapy lecturer and CSULB graduate Noel Marie Spina in a statement.
SoCalTrykers, founded four years ago, finds adaptive tricycles that will last as the recipient grows and develops. Their mission involves finding adaptable bike parts and frames that fit the user’s needs, while promoting independence and mobility, at a cost reduced by about 40 percent with the financial support of organizations such as the Trial Lawyers Association. For those who find it difficult to walk or stand, the bike can be adjusted to fit their needs.
“This bike is the equivalent of a reliable first car,” said Spina in a statement. “It is an affordable, entry-level adaptive tricycle that can fit anyone.”
The Physical Therapy club approached faculty two years ago, seeking a way for them to connect with the local community. Spina saw a way to link students, clinicians, families, children, donors and volunteers to create a larger community of support; students gain hands-on experience, while the feedback has been positive, according to the release.
“[The students] have assisted with assembling adaptive tricycles, assessing adaptive mobility needs of children who are physically challenged and helping to get these bikes into the hands of children and families in our local community who could benefit from them and yet otherwise not afford them,” said Spina in a statement.
At three weeks, the oxygen was cut off to Cooper Newton’s brain, his mother told Spina. Through a combined effort, Cooper was given a bicycle, which he now rides with her on CSULB campus, Spina stated. By providing movement-focused experiences, the students are finding out just what the Physical Therapy club can do.
“For a child who wasn’t supposed to make it through the night, what Cooper is able to do with a wheelchair and a walker and a bike is sometimes just too much for us,” said Spina in a statement. “As long as we can keep challenging him with new things like his bike and teaching people about differences, Cooper will have a fabulous life. Sometimes you just have to have hope.”