Civitans help local child achieve mobility

Published 4:55 pm Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summer is a great time to get outdoors and ride your bicycle, or if you are a young child, your tricycle. But what happens if you are not physically able to ride your own bike? Should you have to miss out on such a wonderful activity because of your physical limitations? The members of the Camellia City Civitan Club do not think so, and they have teamed up with AMBUCS to help provide one young man in our community with the opportunity to have a tricycle of his very own.

Austin Wright, son of Michael and Kay Wright, was born with several disabilities that have rendered him almost completely immobile. He has never been able to get out and interact with children his own age because of his physical limitations. But now, all of that is about to change. Austin has just received an Amtryke, a special tricycle that is custom-made to fit his needs and give him newfound mobility, from the Camellia City Civitan Club.

According to president Mollie Waters, the club has been working on getting a tryke for Austin for almost a year. “Last year at the Civitan District Meeting, two representatives from the Montgomery River Region Friends of AMBUCS introduced us to Amtrykes,” said Waters. “We had never heard of the trykes, much less seen one in action. However, once we saw a tryke, we were convinced that it would be a great project for our club.”

AMBUCS is a non-profit organization that operates throughout the United States. Their goal is to help create mobility and independence for individuals who have disabilities by providing them with therapeutic tricycles known as Amtrykes. However, the trykes are not free, and organizations and clubs, such as Civitan, help purchase the trykes for individuals who qualify.

“We were lucky enough to identify a child right here in Greenville who was illegible for a tryke,” said Waters. “While most trykes cost between $300-$500, Austin’s tryke was over $900. The tryke must be made to meet the needs of the person, and for Austin some extra support and attachments were required, which costs more.”

Waters said that the club was concerned at first that it would take a while for them to raise that much money, but they were fortunate enough to have a club member whose spouse gave them a helping hand. “We had raised a good bit of money for the tryke, but Martha Fulton, club member John Charles Fulton’s wife, found out about the project and wanted to help,” said Waters. “She sold home-made baked goods to help us complete what was needed to get Austin his tryke. She was once a Civitan herself, and that desire to help others always sticks with Civitans throughout life!”

Club members got to see Austin with his tryke for the first time on Monday. “Seeing Austin on his tryke was just awe-inspiring,” said Waters. “The club is already gearing up to sponsor another child with a tryke.”