Patients of Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California pedaled their way to fitness this summer. For eight Friday mornings in a row, 23 patients arrived at the hospital to participate in the BikeFit exercise program. They engaged in activities designed to promote fun and fitness — water games, disco dance and cycling, of course. Each BikeFit participant was fitted with an adaptive cycle, which they were able to take home after successfully completing the program.
BikeFit is organized under the direction of Jon R. Davids, M.D., assistant chief of orthopaedics. A multi- disciplinary team that includes physical therapists, kinesiologists, recreation specialists, and Shriners Hospital
doctors design specific activities to help kids achieve their fitness goals. A team of physical therapy students from California State University Sacramento provides volunteer support.
AMBUCS, a national organization devoted to promoting mobility and independence, provides the adaptive cycles and underwrite 50 percent of the cost. The remaining cost of the bike-trikes — which can run upwards
of $1,000 — is funded by individual donors and foundations. The generosity of many helped put 23 Shriners Hospital patients in the driver’s seat and on the road to independence. The mothers of two participants shared their praise for the program:
“Being able to attend BikeFit has been an amazing experience for all of us. Noemi’s fitness improved significantly from the first session to the last – 12 laps to 28! However, the most significant gif is that now Noemi can ride a bike with her siblings and friends.”
“Cade has always wanted to ride a bike but having brittle bone disease made it a not so safe activity for him. Mobility and walking has always been his greatest goal, but also his biggest challenge. The BikeFit program has given Cade the opportunity to ride a bike, which we thought he would never have. Having the bike will not only allow Cade to ride with friends, but will help his legs get stronger so he can walk again. Another small miracle in Cade’s life thanks to Shriners and the BikeFit program.”