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Adapted Recreation – Got Equipment?

By eanderson

May 5, 2024

Ever wonder about that hand cyclist on our home page?

Aimee Terrill acted fast when she saw a handcycle in our inventory. A handcycle is a three-wheeled recumbent bike that’s powered by a user’s arms instead of their legs. Aimee has paraplegia due to a spinal cord injury from an accident she had while in college in North Carolina. She fell from a tree, but she still loves the outdoors. And a handcycle is a great way to get heart-pumping exercise.

A woman smiles seated in a handcycle trike.
Aimee Terrill with her handcycle from REquipment

REquipment receives, at best, 15-20 donations of adaptive sports equipment each year. The demand for it is high, and items don’t remain long in our inventory.

It’s not hard to see why.

Exercise is medicine, and everyone benefits from a healthy lifestyle, especially individuals with a spinal cord injury (SCI). The leading cause of mortality for persons living with an SCI is cardiovascular disease. Aimee snapped up this handcycle within a day or two of its posting.

For many individuals with disabilities, adaptive sports and recreation also enhance well-being and self-esteem. Participants find new personal limits, expend pent-up emotions, and experience camaraderie and a wider community. For some, participation helps overcome feeling fragile or overprotected. Adaptive sports may also provide a sense of purpose.

So why aren’t more people with disabilities recreating?

Often, it’s the cost. Adaptive recreation equipment is expensive and out of reach for the average budget, and specialized equipment is rarely covered by insurance. “I knew, realistically, there wouldn’t be a chance that I could afford the adaptive equipment I wanted,” Aimee, who teaches special education, told us.

Aimee moved to the Worcester area in 2020. To get exercise, she attended sports expos and started a wheelchair basketball league at the local YMCA.  Then she checked the REquipment website.

There, she was stunned to find a Top End XLT handcycle. She was further stunned by how fast we provided her with the equipment. “I always have words… but I was and still am speechless,” she told us.

You can see Aimee spinning around her neighborhood in the video loop on our homepage. She sent us the video of her ecstatic first ride.

We’d like more of our Massachusetts neighbors to find adaptive recreation equipment that can improve their health and well-being. We are currently accepting donations of indoor and outdoor recreation equipment. If you have adaptive equipment that you are no longer using, donate it and help us brighten a neighbor’s life.

Last year, this young man’s mom found an adaptive tricycle in our inventory.

His picture is worth a thousand words.

A little boy smiles seated on an adaptive tricycle on a sunny day in his driveway.

And the trike is worth about $1,500!

Want to learn more about adaptive recreation and have a great day in the outdoors? Check out the upcoming DCR Universal Access Program Adaptive Recreation Fair! June 8, 2024, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Brighton.