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Florida students use spring break to help AMBUCS

AmTrykes are adaptive bikes on a tricycle platform. (CONTRIBUTED)
AmTrykes are adaptive bikes on a tricycle platform. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – University of Florida students devoted their spring break to help Huntsville Tennessee Valley AMBUCS.

AMBUCS is a non-profit service organization providing “the gift of mobility and independence for disabled children, adults and veterans by supplying AmTryke therapeutic tricycles at no cost to the riders,” chapter secretary Tami Forwood-Tubell said.

The UF students helped build AmTrykes for the new AMBUCS evaluation site at Madison Entrepreneurs’ Center, 102 Tribble Drive.

“AmTrykes are adaptive bikes on a tricycle platform customized to each rider’s mobility limitation, much like the rider’s wheelchair or mobility devices are adapted,” Tubell said. A rider can propel an AmTryke by hand, foot or both.

The UF Students also conducted a family survey to evaluate AmTryke benefits for riders. “They prepared for the upcoming Flashdrive shoe drive and Miss Albany’s Pigtail 7k,” Tubell said. The 7k (4.35 miles) race will be held March 15 at 8 a.m. at Priceville Elementary School to benefit United Cerebral Palsy.

Students interacted with rehabilitation therapists, riders and families and visited two pediatric therapy clinics and the Orthotic and Prosthetic Clinic at TOC.

First designed for children, AmTrykes now are built for adults. An AmTryke costs between $300 to $1,000, depending on size and needed adaptations.

On March 7, AmTrykes built by UF students were delivered to the AmTryke evaluation site at Robin Irwin Physical Therapy Clinic in Decatur. The staff conducted an AmTryke rodeo to fit riders for the AMBUCS Wishlist.

The wishlist is a registry for families interested in an AmTryke. Forms are available at huntsvilleambucs.org. During “Bike Days” or “AmTryke Rodeos,” therapists fit individuals for proper size and accessories.

“We service individuals with spina bifida, Downs Syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism and many other mobility challenges,” Tubell said.

Huntsville TN Valley AMBUCS serves Huntsville, Madison, Decatur, Athens, Hartselle, Florence, Guntersville, Cullman and Madison, along with Limestone, Morgan, Walker and Franklin counties, Fort Payne and Fayetteville, Tenn.

For more information, visit huntsvilleambucs.org or Facebook/htvambucs.

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