MARSHFIELD — A Massachusetts nonprofit has offered to buy an adaptive tricycle for a student with disabilities at Twinfield Union School.
Sixth-grader Jordynne McKinstry, who uses a wheelchair, has been using a borrowed adaptive tricycle to get exercise for over a week as part of the school’s walk or bike to school event. Twinfield worked with Local Motion, a statewide nonprofit that advocates for biking and walking, and RAD Innovations, an adaptive bicycle maker out of Cornwall, to get Jordynne access to the tricycle for three weeks this spring.
Jordynne uses her arms to pedal the handcycle instead of her legs. The Times Argus profiled her in last weekend’s paper.
The story caught the attention of Kevin St. Jean, president of a Fitchburg, Massachusetts nonprofit called Cameron’s Crusaders, which provides financial assistance to families for medical issues. St. Jean decided he would use his nonprofit to get Jordynne a tricycle of her own.
“Families have always been faced with medical expenses for their children, whether it be a long-term illness or an accident has happened,” St. Jean wrote in an email. “Cameron’s is an organization that is committed to helping children and their families during difficult times by providing funds and or assistance to help with their needs that are not covered by insurance and would be a burden for the families otherwise.”
St. Jean said the organization was started three years ago after his nephew Cameron died from cancer. He said he saw first-hand what it’s like for a family to try and make ends meet while dealing with a serious medical issue.
He said his organization has previously purchased adaptive tricycles, and he wanted Jordynne to be able to ride her tricycle whenever she wants. He said the tricycles can cost thousands of dollars.
Twinfield school nurse Alice Day is one of the organizers of the school’s walk and bike program who helped Jordynne land the trial-run trike. Day said exercise can be difficult for someone in a wheelchair, and this tricycle helps put Jordynne on the same level as her peers.
When told about St. Jean’s plan, Day said it was “incredible” news. She wasn’t sure if the borrowed tricycle Jordynne is using is the right one for her going forward because Jordynne may be able to peddle using her feet someday. Day said she’d be in touch with Jordynne’s physical therapist to find the right tricycle for her.
Contacted Tuesday, Jordynne didn’t believe the news at first. She said she would love to have a tricycle of her own.
“I’m amazed,” she said.