- Associated Press - Sunday, June 1, 2014

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) - Family strolls in the park are in the future for the Jacobs family, and this time the youngest member of the clan will be pedaling her own tricycle next to her brother.

Sadie Jacobs got a feel of what it will be like to enjoy an outing with her parents, Greg and Sarah, and her older brother Ben, without being in a stroller.

The 5-year-old girl likes to be mobile and in control of where she goes, so she isn’t very fond of having to be pushed along in a stroller. That is a mode of transportation for Sadie, who has hypotonic cerebral palsy, a condition that causes her to have low muscle tone and general weakness. She is unable to crawl or walk on her own.

She also has other developmental delays, including speech.

Last week, the Columbus Telegram reports (http://bit.ly/1koymbo ) Sadie was fitted for a special tricycle designed for children with disabilities. The AmTrykes were brought by Bikes and Trykes of Central Nebraska, based out of Grand Island, to Wiggles and Giggles Therapy for Kids.

Seven families, including the Jacobs, will be getting an AmTryke with funds raised by We Can Run, Walk and Roll, an annual race for people of all abilities held by Columbus Community Hospital. This is the second year money raised from the event has gone to provide families with tricycles. Last year, eight children received an AmTryke.

The tricycles are therapeutic and designed to help youth improve strength, coordination and motor skills. They can be formed to fit the needs of an individual and can be adjusted as the child grows.

Greg said the trike will make a difference for his daughter.

“It’s exciting to be getting new equipment to make her more mobile. We always try to find ways to get her more mobile both within the house and the community. It is fun to have her out in the community and to have people get to know Sadie and not just see her disability or her inability to move around,” he said.

Sadie relies on her parents carrying her other mobility devices to get around, but most of those devices don’t work well outside, Greg said.

Working on building muscle strength is a large part of Sadie’s physical therapy that she has four days a week at Wiggles and Giggles. She has been receiving therapy since she was 6 months old. Hopes are that she will build enough muscle and coordination to walk on her own one day.

The AmTryke will help if the few minutes she was introduced to it for a test run was any indication.

Sadie rode the red AmTryke along 13th Street in front of Wiggles and Giggles. It took her a little while to get settled, but soon she was pedaling quickly on the trike, her dad moving fast beside her to keep up. A few times of riding the trike up and down the street had her tired out.

The children fitted with a tricycle were 3-13 years old and will receive their specially designed AmTryke in a few weeks.

The tricycle will physically help Sadie and will be a way to develop socially. The little girl already loves to be around other children. She had fun going to preschool at the Columbus Family YMCA this year and will be in kindergarten at Lost Creek Elementary School.

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