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Grant project: Therapeutic Tricycle Project in Tellico Village, TN

Sep 30, 2014
Kiwanians in Tellico Village, Tennessee, provide therapeutic tricycles

For some significantly disabled children—those suffering conditions like spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy, for example—independent mobility and childhood recreation is severely restricted. Their debilitating conditions seriously affect muscle tone and control, and those physical limitations can leave the children isolated from their peers.

Four years ago, the Kiwanis Club of Tellico Village, Tennessee, recognized a need in their community: families were unable to provide their disabled children with therapeutic tricycles prescribed by their physical and occupational therapists. Club members began an ongoing project to raise funds and purchase specialized tricycles for these children in need. This year the club turned to the Kiwanis International Foundation for a grant that would allow them to expand the program, providing more tricycles to children in their community.

Therapeutic tricycles aren’t like any tricycles you’ve ever seen—they’re better. The bikes are hand- and/or foot-operated, and each one is configured for the unique abilities and limitations of the child who will use it. With the tricycle, each child gets the opportunity to be more physically active and experience better health and improved overall quality of life.

“These tricycles change the lives of the children who receive them, but the benefit reaches so much further, to their families and therapists,” explains club member and project leader Fred Wicht. “The tricycles help make the kids’ physical therapy a lot more fun.” With a grant from the Kiwanis International Foundation, the Tellico Village club aims to provide 10 tricycles to children in need this year.