Source: The News-Enterprise
AaLeah Moore, 7, on Thursday walked into John Hardin High School around noon and an hour later rode out on a new set of wheels.
The AmTryke adaptive bicycle from Bluegrass AMBUCS of Lexington was Moore’s first bike. She was one of two children, including Charley Childers, 6, to receive a bike Thursday from the Kiwanis Club of Hardin County during a presentation at the high school.
The Kentucky-Tennessee Kiwanis District’s 2019-20 administrative year project was the provision of the AMBUCS AmTryke. District Gov. Kendra Skidmore established a district goal that every division would award at least one Amtryke to a deserving child by year’s end.
There are 19 divisions within the Kentucky-Tennessee district. Each division consists of anywhere between five to nine individual clubs.
According to President Darrell Olson, Kiwanis reached out to Hardin Memorial Hospital Therapy and Sports Medicine Center in early May in an effort to locate two likely children to benefit from the gift from Kiwanis.
Olson said Jimmy Coursey, manager of outpatient rehabilitation services, and Physical Therapist Samantha Stith, and their staffs were instrumental in locating which children to provide bikes. He said the Baptist Health Hardin team went to work immediately contacting family members and working with them virtually on everything from getting measurements and waivers signed to final assessments completed by their treating therapists.
“They gave us the kid, we gave them the bike,” Olson said.
Bluegrass AMBUCS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities including young children, teens and adults by providing adapted bicycles to meet the needs of each individual.
“The purpose of the AmTrykes is to give children back abilities instead of focusing on the disabilities,” Stith said. “To allow them to participate more in their community, in their life. It’s giving them the ability to participate.”
Stith said they can adapt how the child moves their hands and how their legs move so they are able to then function and do things like other children their age.
The AmTryke also has the ability to expand and change with the child’s needs.
AaLeah’s mom, Kayla Nevills, said when received news her daughter would receive one of the adapted bikes she was filled with joy.
“AaLeah has never been able to ride a bike. … She has several siblings and when they go out to ride their bikes AaLeah does what she’s always does in her life and that is make the best of her circumstances. She runs up and down the sidewalks as if she too is riding a bike,” she told those in attendance at the presentation.
“AaLeah has faced many trials and tribulations in her life. She overcomes and she perseveres. If anyone deserves an adaptive bike it’s AaLeah. Thank you for making this possible for my daughter. She can officially ride with the big girls.”
In attendance at Thursday’s presentation was Elizabethtown Mayor Jeff Gregory and Radcliff Mayor J.J. Duvall.
“I want you all to know how much we appreciate you and that we appreciate having great teammates and civic organizations, like the Kiwanis Club, and you guys really do make a difference as demonstrated here,” Gregory said.
Duvall agreed. He said civic groups do much for the community and they do what they can to work in partnership with them.
“We appreciate your all’s continued effort even during this COVID-19 because there are families, like demonstrated here, who need this,” he said.
The mission of the Kiwanis Club is to “empower communities to improve the world by making lasting differences in the lives of children.”
Olson said the Kiwanis Club of Hardin County, established in 2016, always is seeking volunteers, donations, and fundraising opportunities to help support its mission. The cost of both bikes was $1,177.60, purchased by Kiwanis with donations received over the year.
Olson said their goal is to provide at least one AmTryke each year moving forward.