As a little girl Emmy loved to ride her tricycle. When she outgrew the trike, Emmy couldn’t successfully ride a bike (even with training wheels) without the fear of falling. For years, Emmy has watched other kids enjoying time outside riding bikes, but she has been unable to participate.
Diagnosed with hypoplasia of the corpus callosum at 18 months of age, Emmy experienced delays in development such as inability to roll over, crawl, walk, and speak. After months of doctors’ visits and testing, the family received the diagnosis.
Emmy’s mom, Jaclyn, said through hard work and therapies, Emmy has made strides. “Through extensive private therapy for speech, occupational and physical therapy as well as extended services through her school, Emmy has made significant gains in her ability. However, she is still functioning well below her age level peers.”
Now at age 10, Emmy’s physical challenges were also affecting her daily life. “She has recently put on weight due to the fact that she suffers from low muscle tone and pronation in her ankles. We have tried to find ways of getting Emmy active, but always seem to come up short. She fatigues easily and loses interest quickly. She sees the other kids and her sister out playing and riding bikes and she is unable to participate.”
The Ruiz family applied to Olam’s Piggybank Grant Program during the summer grant cycle this year in hopes of receiving funding for a bicycle suitable to Emmy’s size and development. Emmy was awarded the grant this summer and received her new bicycle in September.
Emmy now rides her bicycle every other day and her mom reports its been both therapeutic and fun.
“It doesn’t look like a special bike. It looks like a cool bike that an adult would use. Emmy is the envy of the block.”
More importantly, Emmy has gained independence riding the bike up and down the street with no assistance. She has also learned to use the brakes for extra safety.
The NODCC provides twice-yearly grants to families and individuals that need assistive devices and technologies thanks to a generous grant from the Swan Foundation. Grant applicants must be impacted by a disorder of the corpus callosum. The current grant cycle is open until October 31.
For more information on the grant program and to apply, visit https://nodcc.org/grants