Last month, we caught up with Mitchel and his mum, Sarah, a long-time client of TAD. They shared their experiences working with TAD and the many adventures they have been able to conquer as a family with the help of Mitchel’s custom equipment.
Mitchel is living with Cerebral Palsy which affects his ability to walk or stand unassisted. We first met Mitchel in 2006 when he received his first Freedom Wheels bike for his third birthday. From the first moment he laid eyes on his bike, Mitchel fell in love with it. This was the first time he could move independently. It was the start to a new, exciting chapter in his life.
“On his third birthday, the smile on his face was from ear to ear and it’s still there today,” said Sarah.
Over the course of 13 years, Mitchel has graduated through a series of Freedom Wheels bikes, as well as several other pieces of custom equipment like his Step and Rail, special devices for his wheelchair and modified school chair and trike.
When Mitchel isn’t using his wheelchair, he uses a modified trike from TAD with handlebars and pull brakes adapted to assist with his riding and braking abilities.
“The great thing about Mitchel’s trike is that not only does he use it for riding, it’s a mode of transport for him. Instead of being stuck in a wheelchair and being sidelined, he is now a part of the action”, said Sarah.
Over the years, Mitchel has made the most of his Freedom Wheels bikes and his trike. He joined the Southern Cross Cycling Club and competed in cycling races at Mount Panorama, Goulburn and Sydney. Recently, he tackled Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciusko. All these amazing adventures totaled over 6,000km. Besides his big adventures, Mitchel loves to take his trike out for a spin in his downtime, whether it’s on the beach or through national parks with his brothers. “Anywhere it can go, Mitchel rides it!”, said Sarah.
Mitchel’s Freedom Wheels bikes and custom equipment from TAD has had a huge impact on his life, as Sarah says, putting him on the “same level playing field as his friends”. Mitchel says he is “more independent” and has “more freedom to get out and about and do the things I couldn’t normally do”.
“It’s so great to have TAD, a place where they can create unique solutions and adapt things too. Without it, we just get by or would have to go to a standard workshop-type place”, said Sarah.