12 children with special needs receive therapeutic bikes

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Itwas full speed ahead for five-year-old Jade Whitley and 11 other children asthey enjoyed brand new AmTrykes.

"Thesewonderful people got me a bike," said Whitley.

TheAmTrykes are therapeutic bicycles specifically for children with special needs.

"Ican ride with all the other children," said Whitley.

Thenon-profit organization, the Lufkin Ambucs provided the bikes for the childrenwith no cost to the family.

The Lufkin Ambucs were formed in June of 2013and after months of fundraising Saturday was their first bike give-a-way.

"Theycan be modified for almost any size or special need," said Cindy Melvin.

LufkinAmbucs President Cindy Melvin says the bikes come with a push bar for parentsto assist their children but they can be operated by hand or foot which helpsthe kids improve strength, balance and coordination.

"Manyof the kids that are here today aren't walking independently but can learn topedal these bikes independently," said Melvin.

ChristinePeterson has seen the benefits of the AmTryke first-hand, Saturday her5-year-old daughter Ellie received her second bike.

And Petersonsays it wasn't until having the bike Ellie was able to take her first steps atthe age of three.

"Pedalingthat bike it really strengthened her core and I have no doubt without that bikeshe might not be walking today," said Peterson.

BonnieWhitely says her daughter Jade was born at three pounds and has cerebral palsyand says having this bike will give her a sense of independence.

"She'sable to ride it and its safe for her unlike a regular bike that could fall overthese are bikes made for people with her condition," said Bonnie Whitley.

Andwith a new set of wheels these kids aren't letting anything hold them back.

Formore information about the Lufkin Ambucs visit their website: www.ambucs.org

TheLufkin Ambucs are also on facebook https://www.facebook.com/cindy.melvin.54?fref=ts

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.