Meet Ashley

"In the summer of 2013 Ashley graduated from high school and was no longer in a physical activity program. I took her to North West Special Recreation to learn how to ride a bike since Ashley wasn't able to ride her bike. I tried a year later and she still could not ride. 

 

Ashley has vision problems from birth that effects her balance. Ashley was also born with heart problems and had open heart surgery at 16 months. She is still monitored today. She also had to go see a special eye doctor for vision training using an eye patch before age of two. She can see but has cataracts that appear. The depthperction is still an issue that's why she can't ride a regular bike. 

 

I took her to visit a class that she wasn't allowed to take because it was for people who had more physical disabilities. There I meet a lady who allowed Ashley to wait after the class was over to try a couple of bikes. There was an adaptive bike she was able to ride. She was so excited. We were referred to Hal at The Bike Rack. He fitted her for the perfect bike. Unfortunately Ashley had aged out of school,  and I had to quit my job. Which meant no bike. It took a lot of time trying to get state funding

 

We went back and I was waiting for paperwork to go through. When in 2016 I was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. The agency had to direct attention to who would take care of her and all those things that come with that.  

 

She had been through several case workers for the state funding to get her an adaptive bike and the current one said let's just start over again. I thought it was because of the state finances. This was very frustrating and time consuming.

 

I took Ashley back into the store to be measured again. Hal tried again and I kept following up. He told my story of trying to get this bike. 

 

Ashley has a close group of 6 friends that ride their bikes together and she would love to ride with them too.

 

Ashley does participate in sports, but riding a bike would be good fitness for her. It would strengthen her muscle, lungs and heart. 

 

It would also give her more access to the community.  It would allow us to do family rides. She is happy now knowing she will be able to ride too."

Photo Credit:

George Pastorino

President 

Elmhurst Bicycle Club

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