Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wanted: A cycle for Caleb

A few weeks ago a dear friend of ours at church told us about a guy who builds custom hand cycles and he thought this would be a good resource for Caleb.  So over the last few weeks Glenn and I have been in contact with Justin (the gentleman who builds hand cycles) about having a custom hand cycle made just for Caleb. 

In the past Caleb has had an AmTryke, here is a picture of that:
Caleb has had this for a little over 2 years and it has served it's purpose.  It was great for when he was younger but he has definitely outgrown it.  There are larger AmTryke's available but to be quite honest they look like giant tricycles, plus they tip over easily.

Justin makes cycles that look more like this:
(That is actually Justin in the picture.  I blurred out the cute little boy's face since I don't personally know him)

Okay, so how cool is this cycle?!  As soon as Justin sent me a picture of this amazing cycle that he made, I knew I wanted one for Caleb.  It's perfect.  It's low to the ground which makes tipping over less likely and it will make it easier for Caleb to get on and off the cycle.  The cycle speaks for itself but I also appreciate the fact that Justin uses hand cycles himself.  He competes in races using a hand cycle and he does wheelchair races (I didn't even know that existed).  He takes this very seriously and it is without a doubt a labor of love for him.  He is the real deal folks.  Plus I like that he is local to our area and I will actually get to meet the person who is making Caleb's cycle.  The cycles Justin has made in the past have been for double amputees so he is working on a somewhat different design for Caleb.

I suggest sitting down for this next part....the cycle will cost close to $2500.  I know.  I know.  That is a lot of money to spend on a bike for a not quite 6 year old.  I agree.  It is a lot of money but the fact is that I can't just walk in a Wal-Mart and buy Caleb a bike.  He can't ride a standard bicycle.  He has to have a hand cycle.  And whenever you are dealing with a specialty item, the cost is high.  Good grief, his wheelchair was almost $6000 so we know all too well how much equipment costs.

Despite the cost we really want Caleb to have this cycle.  I have no doubt that he would absolutely love it.  And one day Benjamin will be riding a bike and we want Caleb to be able to ride a bike with his brother.  So we have begun the process of saving for this cycle.  I'm not sure how long it will take us but we will save until we have enough money.  After much thought I decided to set up a "Chip-In" page so that family or friends (or strangers even) could donate toward the cost of this cycle.  I felt a little weird about doing this but I decided it was an easy way for people to help us if they felt led to do so.  So, if you feel the urge to help us buy this cycle for Caleb then click on the "Chip-In" button below or on the right of the blog to donate.

On a totally different note, I have spent many hours labeling every. single. blog. post.  I wanted there to be an easy way to search the blog and now there is.  The labels are listed on the right, so now you can click on "HKAFO's" and it will pull up every blog post with that label. Or if you want to read about Benjamin's NICU  stay then click on "NICU". If you want to see all the videos ever posted then click on "videos" Or if for some reason you want to see every post that has a picture of Glenn then click on "Daddy".  :)


Summers Family said...

Very, very cool! Good luck fund raising. I hope he can get that awesome bike soon.

Jamie said...

That is a super cool bike!

Coleman and Lauren said...

Very cool bike! Can't wait to see pictures of him riding it!

krousehouse said...

We have an (adult) friend with SB that does wheelchair races, handcycles, and more - he is an inspiration. One day I hope Charlie does the same. I'm sure Caleb will love his bike, and I hope he gets it soon! I've heard about organizations that help with these types of things - I know my friend knows of one and I'll ask what it is.

Jill said...

How awesome!! I love that guy already. I agree, it does make such a difference to know the person making things for your child and to know that they're making it because it's what they love to do. How awesome. I hope Caleb gets his soon. I absolutely hate seeing how money has to sometimes hold our kids back. In a perfect world, eh?

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