You might remember a post I made a couple of weeks ago: "Wanted: A cycle for Caleb", where I shared how we were in the process of saving $2500 so that we could purchase a hand cycle for Caleb. I even shamelessly added a "chip-in" button to the site so that we could receive donations towards this purchase. I knew that it would take quite awhile to save up this kind of money but I knew we would get it done. A fellow SB mom, Jennifer (a.k.a. Charlie's mom) told me about a program called "Athletes Helping Athletes". She thought they might be able to help us get funding for a cycle. So, I did a bit of research. AHA is an amazing program that is run by RoadRunnerSports, and they specifically provide grants for hand cycles. So, I sent in an application. Crossed my fingers. And expected to hear something in about 3 months! And within days I received a phone call letting me know that Caleb was getting a hand cycle! FREE!!! Hello!! Woo-Hoo!! AHA had 2 hand cycles that we could choose from and here is the one we chose for Caleb.
It's the Invacare Top End XLT JR. We chose this one because it most closely resembled the custom cycle we had originally wanted made specifically for Caleb. Because we were approved for a grant through AHA we can't have a cycle built for Caleb, we had to chose one of the Invacare bikes. But this one looks a lot like what we had planned on anyway so we are super excited. And the fact that all of this happened within days of me sending in the application is amazing! Caleb should be receiving his new cycle the first week of June. Just in time for summer vacation :)
I truly can't believe it. I never dreamed we would be able to give him such a wonderful gift so quickly. Some of you parents know how long it can take to get anything our kids need, it can take months to get a wheelchair or a walker, or save money for an important piece of equipment. So to have this cycle coming to us so quickly just blows my mind. Truly an answer to prayer.
I do want to thank those of you that donated on the "chip-in" site (everyone's money was refunded). I was touched by the handful of you that were so quick to give money towards a bike for Caleb. So a big thank you to:
Jason, Monique and Aiden Clark
Gammy, Grandpa Al, and Aunt Rachel
Jill Bell (a.k.a. Kingsley's mom)
Kimberly Dill (a.k.a Jonathan's mom)
Kathy Stafford (Jonathan's grandma)
Northside Christian Church in Oklahoma (this is also a thank you to Melissa Bell who told her church about Caleb and they raised $350!)
You guys are awesome!!
I highly recommend looking into AHA if you need a hand cycle for your kid. The process was so easy and so fast. This foundation LOVES giving these cycle to kids, they are passionate about it, and they move quickly.
Another resource is Challenged Athletes, they also provide grants. They only take applications once a year (I think starting in September). So check them out as well. I'm so thankful to Jennifer for telling me about these programs. I had no idea there was anything out there that would provide Caleb a hand cycle. Us parents need to share these valuable resources with each other so if there is some organization or foundation that has really helped you or your kid then leave a comment for others to read. I'll start a resource section on this blog to make all these great resources easy to find. So let me know if you know of any other great organizations!
And I will certainly be posting some pictures of Caleb on his new cycle as soon as we get it! I can't wait.