Six year old Max Ainsworth from Helmsdale, Sutherland is one of a growing number of children across the UK benefitting from using a running bike from Quest 88.
Max and his twin both have distonic diplegic Cerebral Palsy which means Max is unable to sit or walk unaided while his brother is mobile but insteps and has had an operations on the tendons in his legs to stretch them. Max is extremely bright mentally and is a very sociable child however he does require assistance with most daily tasks.
"We first saw a running bike when we attended a disability sports day in Tain and as soon as Max had a go he loved it! His twin brother and father also had a go!" explained mother Justine.
The Petra Running Bike that Max uses has been designed to support his body, therefore making his legs able to move much more freely. The running bike is designed for multiple activities which help Max's basic mobility and enables him to join in with family walks and bike rides. This helps with Max's development and overall fitness.
The running bike can be used by children from the age of 3 to 4 years through to adulthood. It is predominantly suitable for children such as Max who have Cerebral Palsy, although it is also suitable for those with Muscular Dystrophy, Parkinson's disease and other disabilities that affect mobility and balance. The low centre of gravity and frame design offers good stability and poise whilst running or walking. The saddle unit counter-acts lateral sway and also can be used as a seat when resting.
Running Bikes roll so freely that even children and adults who have been restricted to powered wheelchairs in the past, can now propel themselves by their own efforts.
Max's parents and Physio all agree that the running bike has been a great success as it allows him to be even more involved with friends and family in and out of school. It also works well alongside the other therapy equipment Max uses as part of his daily therapy programme. "The running bike has also had a very positive effect on Max's range of movement and strength in his legs to the point where at his last CRIPS clinic his movement measurements were better than previously" continued Justine.
To purchase the running bike Max's family undertook a fundraising campaign and were amazed to find that within a month the target figure has been reached through a combination of generous donations and some fantastic work by the local Brownies who raised £1800 as part of their disability badge activity.
"It is our aim to highlight the possibility of adaptive running to individuals and families who might believe it is impossible to experience this type of movement and the subsequent benefits" commented Quest 88's Managing Director Rob Henshaw.
If you would like to find out more about the full range of running bikes and other cycles available, cycling opportunities in your local area, charitable or other funding sources for purchasing a specialist cycle, please contact Quest 88 on 01743 790191 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org