Maeve and Francis are twins that between them face many more challenges than most other 5 years olds. With the support of the Tadhg Ó Fainín Foundation, Variety – the Children’s Charity of Ireland has been able to provide the twins with a specially adapted trike.
Here’s what their mother says…
“Learning to ride a bike is a major event in many children’s lives. With it comes “independence” and it opens up a whole new world of possibilities. The sense of accomplishment and pride on a child’s face on achieving this milestone is echoed in that of their parents. Christmas morning sees many bikes left under the Christmas tree to the delight of children big and small. But for some children due to physical or learning difficulties, riding their first bike can be an impossible dream.
Twins Francis and Maeve McCabe from Monaghan are two such children. Born in July 2010 Francis was diagnosed with rare and life limiting lung condition and he spent many months In ICU. He also has autism and a learning difficulty, which make the motor planning required to riding a bike difficult. Maeve has severe and uncontrolled epilepsy. She has had drop attacks (during which she falls to the ground). These continue on a daily basis and this is why having full support was essential. She has ataxia (unsteady on her feet) poor balance and a learning difficulty.
This all makes riding a regular bike an impossible dream for Maeve. The risks of serious injury are much too high. We learned about Variety’s desire to help children like the twins achieve their dream and so began our application. The twins were approved and then professionally assessed for their trike so it was specific to their individual needs. A couple of months later it arrived in time for summer and many, many long days of fun in the garden. Maeve needs much more supports than Francis but these are easily removed when it is his turn to have a go.
Riding a bike is fun, it helps give a sense of independence but more than that it has helped the twins achieve other skills such as learning to steer to pedal to balance. It helps with motor skills improves posture and coordination. It’s recommended by physiotherapists and occupational therapists. The twins and will continue to benefit from their colt trike for many years to come. The saying “it’s as easy as riding a bike” is not true for many children but with the help of the Variety “riding that bike can be made easy”.
From the McCabe family in Monaghan THANK YOU. Your contribution does make a difference”