Dear Athletes Helping Athletes,
My name is Roary Emance. I ask you for a grant for a handcycle, so I can ride with my family and for sports. I am in a wheelchair most of the time and I would like to find a sport that I am able to do. It would be good exercise, and would keep me fit.
My son Rory Emnace, is 13 years old and was born on May 2, 1992 with Spina Bifida. Prior to the last six months he could ambulate primarily with forearm crutches but has developed hip subloxation and has become primarily wheelchair dependent.
He is making the transition quite well, which is due in large part to his participation in the Birmingham, Alabama's Lakeshore Foundation's Super Sports Saturdays. His favorite sports include tennis baseball, shark and tennis. He has expressed an interest in bicycling because his two younger brothers, Riley & Rani love to ride and he wants to be able to participate. He had a bicycle when he was younger but, as his orthopedic problems worsened, a normal bicycle became impossible for him. He misses it!
He would like to be involved in the after-school activities at Lakeshore but, as we live two hours away, that is impossible and he has settled into an every other Saturday schedule.
Rory was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. His Myelomeningocele repair was two days later and his shunt placement two weeks after that. In addition to four shunt revisions he has also had bladder augmentation, the chiari malformation repair, prosthetic sphincter placement and the ACE procedure.
Rory works very hard with his school work and is an A/B student. He is responsible for several household chores including loading/unloading the dishwasher, cleaning his room, cleaning his bathroom, sorting the laundry (etc).
Rory's childhood has been similar to our other two children up to this point. however, with the recent decrease in function, we will have to come up with some plan for regular physical exercise. Russellville is a small town so there is no organized physical activity for disabled children. The physical education teachers at his school attempt to integrate him into classes but we feel it isn't enough. he needs an activity he can be passionate about as an individual and as a family activity.
I feel like, since his activity level has decreased recently, this is a crucial time for him. I'm afraid if he becomes frustrated with not being able to physically do the activities he used to do, he will settle into a rountine of watching television, watching his brother's activities (etc). We think a handcycle would be the ideal solution and, with your help, it could become a reality.
If your organization would consider Rory for a handcycle grant, we would happily provide you with any additional information you might need or want. If Rory is not selected, we would hope your organization will continue to grow as your mission is a worthy one.
Raul & Linda Emnace