Dear Athletes Helping Athletes,
I love the cycle and want to keep it all week, month and days. I am energetic, I pay attention, loving and sometimes I get straigt A's. When I first tried a handcycle, it felt awesome to ridde one.
I am writing to you to introduce my son Joshua Ramos. Josh is a very sweet boy. He wants to help anyway he is able to. He is using crutches and has trouble riding a regular bike. We would like to request a handcycle. I am a single parent trying to raise three kids, including Josh, who has Infantile Diplegia Cerebral Palsy. He was told that he would never walk. I knew that one day Josh would be able to walk without any assistance. We are still working on that goal, but he would love to be able to ride bikes with his brother and sister.
Josh was born on time and we still don't know exactly how he got Cerebral Palsy. Many different events happened while I was pregnant with him and while I was delivering him. He was purple when he was born because his cord was wrapped around his neck for two weeks. I was beaten up when I was three months pregnant with him. We didn't find out that he had Cerebral Palsy until he was one year old because his pediatrician kept telling us he was just too fat to sit up, stand or walk.
Once we were able to get him diagnosed , he has been working in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy. He now gets those services at school and after school for short periods of time. All of us at home work with him and have helped him to get stronger. He went from the combat crawl to being in a wheelchair when he was 4. He had his abductor cords released, his Achilles tendon released with his first surgery. His next surgery he had was his abductor cords released, behind his knee tendonds released, his Achilles tendons released: he had a bone graph in both feet.
All of these surgeries were on both legs and feet and they helped lenghten his tendons, so they weren't so tight. He then had a dorsal rhizotomy, which they cut over 50% of his nerves in his back when he was 6. This helped with the spasticity in his muscles. He then got a walker when he was 6 and got crutches when he was 8, which he is still using to walk. The last surgery Josh has had is to fix a hammer toe on both feet. It was to fix his middle toe. It took on one of the toes, but he still has some hammer toe on one of his toes. His feet are growing towards his arches, which is making all of his toes go under each other. His braces are supposed to help with this because his arches collapse when he walks.
He is a very active kid and it frustrates him when he is unable to ride bikes or do what his brother, sister, or cousins are doing. Rick Van Hoorn gave me your website, so we could see about somehow getting a bike for Josh. Rick feels that he is a natural at adapted cycling.
Josh really hasn't been too active because we were unable to find much that he could do. This year Josh was asked to go to the Wheelchair camp at UCSB. He got Camper of the Year and loved the handcycling station the best. He now goes one to two times a month to UCSB for the Adapted Cycling Clinic with Rick Van Hoorn. He bowled with the Special Olympics, which he always looked forward to doing on Saturdays. He is very eager to learn and to play sports, but his disability sometimes limits him as to what he can do. We would really appreciate anything you would be able to help us with.