Final push for Bill's trike so he can ride with Ethan

For: Ethan and Bill Tackett
Fishers, IN
Organizer: Bill Tackett
of $2,100 goal
78% Complete
Raised by 27 donors

The Story

We knew that Ethan has autism by the time he was 15 months old. He is minimally verbal and as far as we can tell he sees the world as numbers, letters and things that spin and these things have always fascinated him to the point of obsession.

Like any other parents we got him a bicycle even though we were not certain that he’d ever be able to ride it. After a bit of effort he understood pedaling although he didn’t quite seem to get that he couldn’t get started if they were in the wrong position and he never understood that he had to keep doing it in order to stay upright. Steering was a bit of a nightmare as he frequently let go of the handlebars and if we were not helping to guide him a crash was inevitable even with training wheels.

One of the biggest hindrances to riding was mailboxes. Anytime he would get started in a straight line he’d stop when he reached a mailbox so that he could stim over the numbers on each box. We tried moving to a parking lot and still had problems with frequent stops to stim which meant letting go of the handlebars, sitting upright and if there were no training wheels, certainly a fall.

As he got to big for the bike we bought him we basically lost hope that he’d ever be able to ride a bike because now that he is about 5’2", he’s simply to big for training wheels to support him safely. This hasn’t stopped him from indicating that he wants to ride a bike as he points at them in stores and watches other kids riding them.

Last summer we stopped into a bike shop that sells recumbent trikes and after he sat on a couple we discovered that the style with 2 wheels up front was simply too overwhelming for him because of getting overstimulated by the wheels beside his legs being in full sight. But… the style with 2 wheels in the back was a major find. We let him test ride one and he was quickly able to figure out how to steer it and was getting the idea for braking. Stopping to stim was not a problem because the trikes have a full seat so he was fully supported.

The trike was a major breakthrough that is a real solution to the cycling problem and we know that he would love to have one. The bad news is… the one he tried was over $5000, yikes!!! We have since found less expensive models, but they are still in the range of $2000. Regular adult trikes that are cheaper will not work because they don’t provide the same support when stopped that the recumbent trikes do with the full seat.

Fortunately he recently was put on the wish list for an AMBUCS trike, but the cost of the trike with delivery is still $1100 and the cost of a car carrier is about $500.

Normally we’d just finance this like any other family, but unfortunately I am on disability myself because of a spinal cord injury resulting in enough nerve damage that I can’t sit or stand for very long and can’t maintain a full time job. I’ve been on the SSDI waiting list for over 2 years now and expect it to be another year before I get a final determination simply because back injuries automatically get denied at the initial qualification stages and have to be evaluated by a judge at the final appeals step. I have disability insurance, but it meant a 40% cut to my annual pay and we simply can’t afford to get this trike and carrier for him and have to ask for help in getting this wish fulfilled.

The interesting twist in this process is that I am also going to get on the AMBUCS wish list which means that I can get one of their trikes also and Ethan and I will be able to enjoy the freedom of cycling together and I’ll finally have an effective means of getting out of the house and enjoying the benefits of some exercise again.

Currently I spend my days limited to a recliner or bed and trying to stay fit hasn’t been something that I’ve been able to accomplish so getting one of these trikes would be a huge benefit to my health and long term quality of life in addition to being able to enjoy doing this recreational activity with my son and family.

The goal for this fundraiser is enough to get both of us trikes and the car carrier so that we can get him to Special Olympics to compete in cycling which we know he would love. But, the priority will be to get him his trike first, followed by the car rack and then if we are able to raise enough funds I will get a trike also. Any additional funds will go towards Special Olympics.

We are really looking forward to getting to see the same smile on his face that he had during his test ride and hoping that we raise enough to enable me to once again experience the freedom of cycling.

Thanks for your support,

Bill and Ethan

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on November 17, 2015

Posted on November 17, 2015

Great news! After receiving some donations off-line, I now have enough to get my trike. We decided to go ahead and get mine before the carrier so that Ethan and I can ride around the neighborhood together.

Because of the off-line donations I reduced the goal amount for the fundraiser and now we are just working on funding for the car carrier.

I want to send a HUGE thank you to everyone who has helped make this happen for Ethan and I. I really can't express how happy you have helped to make us and how much we have been touched by the generosity of everyone who contributed even if they were only able to share the word about the fundraiser.

We have loved watching Ethan ride and have been thrilled that he has learned how to ride it so quickly. We are still working on changing gears. He frequently comes to us and ASKS to ride his bike which is a major breakthrough in his communication because initiating requests is a significant goal in his therapy plans.

Again, thank you so much and we will be sure to post videos in the Spring of him racing for Special Olympics. I have a feeling he is going to be a real competitor ;)

Posted on November 14, 2015

Posted on November 14, 2015

Ethan is really loving his trike and it's making me look forward to getting mine so that I can ride with him soon. Thanks again to everyone for their support and sharing this fundraiser. Can't tell you how much of a difference these will make for all of us.

Posted on November 8, 2015

Posted on November 8, 2015

Ethan has asked to ride his #AMBUCS #Amtryke almost every day since he got it. Safe to say that he loves it.

He has done a great job mastering it, even has the parking breaks completely figured out.

One frustrating thing for him has been getting stuck when he gets off the sidewalk and today I was able to get him to understand how to push it while steering to get it back on again and later when he got stuck again he got right off and did just what I showed him which was awesome to see :)

Sure glad that I have my scooter or I wouldn't be able to let him ride so much but can't wait to get my trike ;)

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Final push for Bill's trike so he can ride with Ethan

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