Brandon Brubacher

Brandon outside, enjoying some exercise on his tricycle.

Ontario teen gets adaptive bike from funds raised by schools

Eighteen year-old Brandon loves spending time on the computer. Like most teens his age, he can spend hours poring over old photos. But, exercise? Not his first choice of activity. That was until he got a new adaptive adult tricycle with funds raised by schools through the Rick Hansen School Program.

Since he was an infant, the West Montrose, Ontario native has had spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, which limits the use of his legs and arms. That makes exercise difficult. But the suggestion from his therapist that Brandon should consider biking has not only made exercise more accessible, but more enjoyable.

Finding a fun form of exercise

"He's physically limited with self-care. He needs assistance with that," says Brandon's mother, Dorothy. "But he's a very happy guy when he's biking."

He was maybe his happiest when he got to bike alongside his sisters, something that could not have happened without the new three-wheeler.

"I felt good. I thought I made a milestone," says Brandon. "I pedal out along my laneway and back in again. It stretches my legs and gives me exercise and it's fun."

Exercise as a form of therapy

Brandon is now regularly supplementing his therapy with a more agreeable form of exercise.

"With the bike it's great because we have to do very aggressive stretching on his hamstrings," explains Dorothy. "When he's biking he's getting a good stretch in the hamstrings but it's fun for him."

Generosity helps end search for bike

The family had spent several years looking for the right bike and once they found it, they were thrilled with the news that funds raised by students and schools taking part in the Rick Hansen School Program were going to make the purchase possible.

"We're very grateful. It was wonderful, we couldn't believe it," says Dorothy. "It's wonderful that students can care about others and want to help where they can."

If your school wants to make a positive difference in the life of a young person with a disability, check out our Abilities In Motion program in your resource box.