A LIFE changing mountain trike is now officially on order for student Sam Ainsworth thanks to more than £4,400 being raised by well-wishers.
Sam got the chance to try out a demonstration model when the sales manager of Cheshire-based Mountain Trike Roger Crawford visited him at Haslingden High School where he is in Year 11.
Sam has Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease, an inherited muscle-wasting condition, which affects the motor and sensory nervous system. He also has a recently diagnosed condition affecting his hands. This makes using a normal wheelchair impossible without assistance.
Just two months ago an appeal was launched by the Learning Support Faculty as Sam was completing his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and had to borrow a special wheelchair to complete the expedition.
Teaching Assistant Lee Trickett was determined that Sam should have a mountain trike before he finishes school and had set a target of Sam’s 16th birthday in April.
However, publicity led to donations from all over, including from East Sussex.
His mum Tina said: “This is perfect for Sam because he has always had strength in his arms and been able to grip. I can’t get over how this meets his specific needs so well.
“He had high expectations of this trike, but it has surpassed them. It is just amazing.
“I cannot thank everyone enough for donating to his appeal.”
Sam was delighted from the moment he got to sit on the trike and was allowed to give it a ‘test drive’ in school, along the paths, over grass, kerbs and an incline.
He said: “It is brilliant. It is amazing. The fact is I can now be independent. It is also very comfortable.”
Sam is already planning his first expedition and he wants to self-propel himself around Lee Quarry with his dad Philip and brother Jacob on their mountain bikes.
When fellow Duke of Edinburgh participant Elliot Crompton, 15, saw the trike he said: “Ooo that’s awesome.”
His friends were quick not just to admire it but to try it out too, however they could not manoeuvre it as well as Sam.
Sam said: “I never thought I would be able to get the trike so quickly. This will be life changing. I will be able to go out whenever I want to.”
The hand operated lever works a series of gears to move the wheels. Like a bike pedal, it also doubles as steering mechanism and has sturdy disc breaks and a handbrake.
All the parts derive from a mountain bike so they can be repaired or replaced by a bike shop and if necessary interchangeable modifications are available. So if Sam’s condition deteriorates the chair can be adapted to meet his needs.
Further fundraisers are planned by the Police Cadets, where Sam attends and a beetle drive will be held by 2nd Rossendale where Sam was a Beaver, Cub and Scout.
To donate to his fund logo on to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/samsmountaintrike