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Moving gift; Non-profit organization donates special trike to teen

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, August 11, 2012

UNSTOPPABLE – Charlie Young and Bill Silver, members of AMBUCS service organization, Thursday present Jessica McClure of Greenwood with an AmTryke, a modified tricycle that accommodates riders of all ages, sizes and physical limitations. McClure has cerebral palsy with dystonia. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Little stops or slows 17-year-old Jessica McClure of Greenwood.

The Slidell High School senior does not allow cerebral palsy dystonia to hinder her living as normally and independently as possible.

And with a special donation Thursday, there’s really no stopping the tenacious, determined teenager.

AMBUCS Inc., a non-profit service organization dedicated to creating mobility and independence for people with disabilities, donated to McClure an AmTryke, a modified tricycle that accommodates riders of all ages, sizes and physical limitations.

The unique tricycles, which can be hand or foot operated, offer therapeutic benefits such as improved motor skills, strength development and higher self-esteem.

McClure had a more specific intention.

“I wanted to get physically fit,” she said. “But bikes like this cost around $1,000, and we don’t have that money. We thought about redneck rigging a regular bike and putting training wheels on it, but we realized that probably wouldn’t be very safe. Balancing is hard for me.”

Instead, McClure reached out to personnel at Cook Children’s Medical Center, where she is regularly treated and serves on the Youth Advisory Council.

“We know there are organizations that donate money for wishes like this,” she said. “And they told us about this wonderful organization.”

McClure’s application was sent to Ohio, where a club member recognized “Decatur, Texas,” the hometown of colleague, Charlie Young.

The Bartonville resident, who was born and raised in Decatur, pitched the application to his AMBUCS chapter in Irving. The club, which has raised money to give away about 1,500 in the last 15 years – more than any other AMBUCS club – agreed, and Thursday presented McClure with the treat.

A tearful McClure accepted the donation; her mother, Lanette, was just as appreciative.

“We pay so many medical bills, there’s no way we could’ve afforded this,” Lanette said. “Thank you.”

Young replied: “This is just the way we pay our civic rent. You’re most welcome.”

For information on AmTrykes, visit the AMBUCS website www.ambucs.org/amtryke. While most bikes are donated, they are also available for purchase.

GRATEFUL FAMILY – Lanette McClure of Greenwood kisses her daughter, Jessica, after Jessica was presented a modified tricycle from Charlie Young and Bill Silver, members of the Irving chapter of AMBUCS service organization. Also on hand for the presentation was Jessica’s father, Russell. “My parents spend a lot of money on my medical bills,” Jessica said. “I didn’t want to ask them to pay for this, too. Thank you so much.” Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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