Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Grants, Handcycles, and the Mighty Power of the Pen

Every now and again, I'm reminded why we writers must keep submitting in the face of the inevitable rejection.

Midsummer or so I wrote Athletes Helping Athletes on behalf of my 14 year old with the hope the group would consider awarding her a specialized handcycle, one we'd been told by her therapist would benefit her continuing recovery, but couldn't possibly afford on our own.

Well, *pumps arm wildly in the air* we won the grant.

E's bike is a low-rider, custom-built and midnight blue. Instead of pedaling with her feet, she pedals with her hands. The cycle arrived on a semi late Friday afternoon.

The first words out of E's mouth after she tried out her new wheels:

"This is awesome! You know my other bike? We can give that to a two-year-old who needs it."

E's other bike is a Fisher Price tricycle designed for toddlers. Unfortunately, it's the only one that fit her very small stature when we went shopping for it a couple years ago. Problem was none of E's friends rode three wheelers. She needed assistance getting onto and off the bike, requiring us to chaperone her at all times. And her left leg (affected by the aneurysm) slipped off the pedal if not strapped down.

Seeing the joy on E's face as she pedals down the street on her new bike puts all the rejections I've ever received into perspective. And gives me hope that the writing I'm most passionate about will continue to spark positive responses, and possibly someday soon, win a contract for my YA fantasy.

As for the tricycle, it's in the donations pile in our garage.


Anonymous said...

Wow! I am adopting a 4 year old with spina bifida and I am looking for a hand tricyle for her but they are over $400 and I can't afford that. Any suggestions? Betsy

Kim Winters said...

Yes! Google Athletes Helping Athletes and handcyles and see what comes up. The application process is quite easy and the rewards immeasurable. Good luck!