Augustus Macy watches his older brother Henry sprint past, then a smile lights up his face.
“Go!” Augustus says, his arms propelling his ZipZac wheelchair along the YMCA’s indoor track in hot pursuit of his brother.
Augustus, who turns 2 in April, has spina bifida. He has very little movement in his legs, but uses his strong upper body and core to propel the ZipZac. He also uses a mobile stander (similar to a wheelchair but he is in a standing position).
His parents, Karla and Levi, are always on the lookout for new ways for Gus to be independently mobile. (Levi says he needs speed bumps in the house because Gus is so fast in his ZipZac.)
Then, while visiting an online support group for parents of children with spina bifida, Karla discovered a tricycle that can be adapted for people with disabilities.
When she searched for information, she discovered the Greater Portland Area AMBUCS Chapter, a nonprofit that raises money to provide these adapted tricycles to kids with disabilities.
This spring, the Baker City Cycling Classic is working with AMBUCS to raise money to purchase an AmTryke for Gus. The goal is to raise enough to present a bike to Gus at the race in late June.
Brian Vegter, race director, posted the fundraiser Jan. 11 on Facebook, and since then it’s been seen by more than 2,000 people and shared 19 times.
Anyone can donate to this fundraiser online at https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/2056687. For information about donating offline, email firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message through their Facebook page.
Kate Stribling, president of PDX AMBUCS, said base models of the tricycle range from $1,300 to $2,000 but AMBUCS receives a significant discount. The model for Gus will cost around $700. Any funds raised beyond this amount will help provide tricycles for other kids.
See more in the Jan. 31, 2018, issue of the Baker City Herald.