BMAD Bikers Make a Difference
by Julia Melluish
I applied for funding for a trike. I have 3yr old identical twins. One of them(H)has cerebral palsy (spastic quadriplegic), cortical blindness, he is PMLD and non verbal.
As he cannot sit unaided I didn't think he would be able to ride a trike. However during the summer when his twin(C)was riding his trike in the garden I decided to give H a go by holding him on to the seat.
My husband placed his feet on the pedals and we propelled him along. He laughed and giggled and tried to keep his feet turning with the pedals.
I mentioned this experience to the physio who said H could be booked onto a trike clinic to assess his needs.
I was delighted. I suddenly pictured being able, for once, to have an activity that all the family could join in with. I could take H and C to the park and they could ride along together. Equitable access to play.
Everything else we do as a family usually involves C having the fun or getting the experience and H being pushed along in his wheelchair listening to the sound of what is going on - never really being able to participate.
At the trike clinic I was told the IMP would meet H's needs with some extra supports....total cost being £1200, and I got presented with a quote and a list of charities to contact. The rep crossed off a few charities and said not to bother with them and circled another couple that were worth a shot.
I went home less excited. I don't really
understand why a wheelchair can be provided but not a trike. Does my child not have a right to play?
I had recently bought C a bike for his birthday - £40 from Argos. As a parent I found it heartbreaking that I could not go to Argos and get a trike for H.
As a parent shouldn't I be able to provide the same for my twins? Does having a disabled child mean you can afford anything?
The reality that I would have to tout my story to charities wasn't a great feeling. I felt inadequate that I could not provide what I felt was a basic necessity for a 3 yr old to experience a universal play pastime. Tears were shed.
However, I am incredibly grateful that under the circumstances of trikes not being provided for by health and social services, there are amazing charities who will. Without the possibility of charitable funding my child would not have got a trike.
To apply for the trike I wrote a letter to a local charity BMAD - Bikers Make a Difference - in Torbay. I made sure I had a supporting letter from the physio - anything to support your application helps.
I also took some photo's during the trike assesment, primarily to show my husband, and decided these photo's would actually make my application "real" and could potentially aid a positive response.
I got a "yes" from the wondeful Bikers of BMAD within 2 weeks and the trike is now on order! I am absolutely overjoyed and cannot wait to take both my boys biking!