Dear Athletes Helping Athletes, I am Albert Regalado. I have Spina Bifida. I can not walk so I use my wheelchair. I am 11 years old. I love bike riding, but I never had a bike. That's why I am writing to you because I always wanted a bike. In all my life I wanted to have a bike, but my parents couldn't afford a bike for me. Always I hve dreamed to ride a bike, but that dream never happened until now. My first reason I should have a bike is because the bike will make me stronger. If I am stronger it will help me do things I can't do now. It will help me in the future by being more independent for my self and I can help others, too. My second reason is that I can ridde bikes with my friends and my sister. I will be happy because I can ride a bike with my friends and my sister. My friends and my sister will be happy for me if I have a bike. I am a good student. I would greatly appreciate this because I have never won anything before. I am a good son to my parents. I would love to be there when my little sister learns to ride a bike. My third reason is I can be with my family. I can ride bikes with my family at the park. I can ride with my cousins, aunt, uncle, parents. In the future I can be with my family more by riding bikes. My fourth reason is it is easier to use. It is easier to use because you don't get your hands dirty. It is easier to use because it is shorter. It will help me in the future because it will be easier to get around with. My fifth reason is I can race. I can race with other wheelchair kids. I can be competing with other kids. In the future I can be in bike races.
God bless you, Albert Regalado June, 2004
My name is Erin Quane and I am a physical therapist for Chicago Public Schools. I am writing on behalf of Albert Regalado, a fourth grade student at Nightingale School, who would benefit tremendously from a handcycle. He has a diagnois of Spina Bifida and uses a manual wheelchair independently as his primary means of mobility at school. His physical therapy sessions at school are currently focusing on overall endurance. Activities that address endurance during school include wheelchair racing, ambulation, and general upper extremity strengthening. He ambulates with loftstrand crutches and reciprocal gait orthosis, but finds it very challenging to ambulate long distances. His lack of endurance does limit him during therapy and he frequently requests for rest breaks. Albert also takes the initative to work endurance at home. When the weather is nice, he takes walks outside with his mother. He also enjoys riding his skateboard, which he does by longsitting on the board and propelling with his hands. Being such an active person has allowed Albert to manage his weight in order to maintain his functional independence and ease his ability to perform transfers independently. A handcycle will be another great option for Albert to stay fit at home. Exercising on the handcycle will work on both endurance and upper extremity strength, which will both increase his functional independence. Albert does wish to walk in the community with loftstrand crutches and his reciprocal gait orthosis, though he has yet to meet the goal. Exercising on the handcycle will contribute to him achieving that goal faster. Thank you for your consideration of this request; I appreciate the opportunity to apply Albert to such a great grant.