Today we were visited by Gordon and Connie Hankins, the couple that was featured in People magazine article above and who are known for their Therapy Oriented Tricycles (also known as the TOT project, through pioneersvolunteer.org).
Gordon and Connie make tricycles, but not just any trikes, they customize these three wheelers to fit the child that the are making them for! In Vada's case and many others who have Down syndrome the person (Vada as well) has legs and arms that are shorter than typical, which makes riding bikes of any kind difficult until they are much older than their peers who may not have Down syndrome. Gordon and Connie realize this potential setback for children like Vada and with a "calling from God", as Connie put it and a passion in their hearts they began their journey in custom trike building. Now, over fourteen years since they built and gave their first trike, thousands of hours invested in labor and over 900 free donated trikes we got the honor of having ours hand delivered.
Not knowing Vada's true size the brought two trikes and red Small one and a pink medium one. Since the small trike was too big and needed more adjusting the pink one never made it out of the back of their vehicle. (That's okay though, I was hoping for a red one!)
I am so glad that The Hankins were here because V's legs weren't long enough to reach the pedals and then her feet are too short to stayed strapped in, so we needed to put two blocks on the pedals for a good adjustment.
Vada loved trying her new trike out. She loved the cool breeze that blew through her hair and cooled her on this hot, hot day and was she was so interested in making it "work" on her own.I can tell that this is the beginning of lots and lots of fun for her!
These trikes have benefited all kinds of children with unique needs, some are Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy and Down syndrome. If you are interested in getting your child one of these free custom made tricycles then go here and read through the information, then download the therapists recommendation paperwork and your on your way!