Dear Athletes Helping Athletes, I am Nicolas Michael Horst. I am going into 4th grade and my favorite subject in school in science. Why I want a handcycle is because one of my goals is to participate in the Seattle to Portland bike event. I also want to have a handcyle because I do not want to always barrow other people's handcycles all the time. I really want a handcyle!
Sincerely, Nicolas Michael Horst May, 2005
I would like to introduce you to my son, Nicolas Horst. Nic is an 11 year old boy who suffered a stroke during open-heart surgery when he was two years old. He has heart anomalies that result in his having 50% cardiac output and low blood oxygenation. Despite all these setbacks, Nic is a courageous, motivated and skilled athlete. Because of the muscle function loss in his legs due to his stroke he can only walk short distances. But in his wheelchair and wheelchair racer he enjoys going much further and faster than he ever could on two feet. Nic's other favorite sports are wheelchair basketball, golf, swimming and baseball. For the recreation he enjoys playing viola, croquet, playing with his friends and board games. His two favorite shows are America's Funniest Home Videos and Extreme Makeover Home Edition. He hopes one day to be a video game developer, game tester, architect, train engineer and work for his dad. Nic is also an avid reader and excels in school in language and geography. He loves jokes and keeps all of us laughing and inspired by his strength of character. His goal for a long time now has been to cycle the STP with his dad. We have tried so many different ways to make this happen: modifying his bike, using a 'pony trailer' tandem (etc). Unfortunately, they all required balance and leg power-which Nic is a little short on! Then one day he saw one of his track friends zipping around the track in a handcycle and it was love at first sight! Now every track practice includes borrowing someone's handcycle and taking a few laps. He would really love to have his own handcycle so he can start training on bike trails with his dad and me. He plans to build up slowly to doing the whole STP. This year he'd like to at least do 5 miles of the event with his dad. You would make one 11 year old happy beyond belief if he could actually own his own handcycle. Please consider Nicolas in your list of athletes deserving of a handcycle from your organization.
Warmest regards, Susan Horst
P.S. Nicolas is an award winning team member of the Northwest Wheelchair Sports, since 2003!