12 children with special needs receive therapeutic bikes - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12 children with special needs receive therapeutic bikes


It was full speed ahead for five-year-old Jade Whitley and 11 other children as they enjoyed brand new AmTrykes.

"These wonderful people got me a bike," said Whitley.

The AmTrykes are therapeutic bicycles specifically for children with special needs.

"I can ride with all the other children," said Whitley.

The non-profit organization, the Lufkin Ambucs provided the bikes for the children with no cost to the family.

 The Lufkin Ambucs were formed in June of 2013 and after months of fundraising Saturday was their first bike give-a-way.

"They can be modified for almost any size or special need," said Cindy Melvin.

Lufkin Ambucs President Cindy Melvin says the bikes come with a push bar for parents to assist their children but they can be operated by hand or foot which helps the kids improve strength, balance and coordination.

"Many of the kids that are here today aren't walking independently but can learn to pedal these bikes independently," said Melvin.

Christine Peterson has seen the benefits of the AmTryke first-hand, Saturday her 5-year-old daughter Ellie received her second bike.

And Peterson says it wasn't until having the bike Ellie was able to take her first steps at the age of three.

"Pedaling that bike it really strengthened her core and I have no doubt without that bike she might not be walking today," said Peterson.

Bonnie Whitely says her daughter Jade was born at three pounds and has cerebral palsy and says having this bike will give her a sense of independence.

"She's able to ride it and its safe for her unlike a regular bike that could fall over these are bikes made for people with her condition," said Bonnie Whitley.

And with a new set of wheels these kids aren't letting anything hold them back.

For more information about the Lufkin Ambucs visit their website: www.ambucs.org

The Lufkin Ambucs are also on facebook https://www.facebook.com/cindy.melvin.54?fref=ts

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