In Tandem with TAD

Sep 06, 2010

In Australia, TAD – which stands for Technical Aid to the Disabled – has a mission to improve the enjoyment and quality of life of persons with disabilities.

It’s a task they take on every day through programs like the Amway Australia-sponsored Freedom Wheels, which provides custom-built bicycles to children who otherwise would not know the joy and accomplishment that comes with riding a bike for the first time.

With the help of highly skilled and innovative therapists, engineers and volunteers, each child’s needs are taken into consideration so their bicycle will work for them. Whether it’s special upper body support systems, wider and stronger wheels or modified handlebars, each bike is carefully crafted to give the rider as much independent mobility as possible.

And that’s just the technical side. On the emotional side, one mom put it best: “My sons used to look at other kids on bikes and wonder why they didn’t have a bike . . .  And now they’re just so happy and they’re all smiles when they’re out riding.”

Over the years, Amway has used its partnership with Nutriway spokesman, world record-holding cricketer and father-of-three Adam Gilchrist, also known as “Gilly,” to raise awareness and funds for Freedom Wheels.

Earlier this month, Gilly appeared at Amway Australia’s offices in Castle Hill to give Freedom Wheels another donation of $20,000 Australian dollars. “It’s great to see the happiness the simple joy of riding a bike can bring,” said Gilchrist.

So far, Amway has donated more than $500,000 to Freedom Wheels to fund staff positions and to further the research and development that gives children the amazing feeling of independence that comes when the breeze blows on their face, and their legs take them in the direction they want to go.

Thanks goes to Kevin Lowe and Cindy Droog for their contributions to this story. -JH

On August 2, 2010, Gilly talks with two Freedom Wheels bicycle recipients (above and below) at the Castle Hill offices of Amway Australia.

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