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Little Red Dog Foundation gives the gift of mobility

By Pfc. Joshua Pettway | | June 26, 2009

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Lyberti Jackson, the five-year-old daughter of a Fightertown Marine, was given a therapeutic AmTryke from the Little Red Dog Foundation June 18. Lyberti was born with Down syndrome and has difficulty riding a normal bicycle, but now has the opportunity to ride thanks to the bike provided by the LRDF.

The LRDF, a non-profit organization founded by Anne Guthrie in 2005, provides specially designed three-wheel cycles called AmTrykes to people who are mentally or physically disabled.

The AmTrykes promote mobility and encourage those with disabilities to become more independent.

“It makes Lyberti happy to be able to ride her AmTryke with her younger siblings,” said her mother, Dionia Jackson.

The AmTrykes wield various benefits for the riders such as increasing leg strength, circulation and range of motion. They also allow the rider to partake in more activities with other children and their family, according to Guthrie.

Service members, Department of Defense employees and civilians can also take part in the LRDF by donating money or various cycles to someone who can benefit from them.

“We’ve given numerous AmTrykes to many military families in the past, in the hopes that we can give our support back to them,” Guthrie said.

Janet Oehl, Lyberti’s physical therapist, contacted the LRDF for the Jacksons and helped by informing them of her needs, to ensure the AmTryke could be customized to suite her.

“Lyberti showed a lot of enthusiasm toward riding her AmTryke, and also loves the red helmet which also was provided by the LRDF,” Oehl said.

The AmTrykes are all designed to keep each individual rider safe. Depending on their needs, there are various parts built onto them such as harnesses for the rider’s feet and waist, or a handle near the rear of the AmTryke which can help guide the rider.

Lyberti is a child who benefits from the organization but so can others who have suffered from a stroke, Parkinson’s disease or other balance related conditions.

To contact the LRDF on how to donate or recommend a recipient of an AmTryke, call Guthrie at 522-8019 or visit their Web site at www.littlereddogfoundation.org.


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