On his tricycle, Arthur is just like any other 9-year-old. Differences don’t matter as he pedals along.
But Arthur is different than most kids. His mother Carri Davis says he was born with all the characteristics of Noonan syndrome. It’s a genetic disorder that limits his mobility, among other things.
“He didn’t walk until he was about three,” said Davis. “He didn’t walk independently until he was in first grade with a crutch.”
She says the tricycle has given Arthur the ability to do things just like other children.
Arthur’s adaptive tricycle was a gift from the children’s charity Variety of East Tennessee. The pedals, wheels and seat are custom fit.
While some may see it as a luxury, Variety Executive Director Carol Fusco calls it a necessity. Variety has donated 25 adaptive tricycles to children in East Tennessee this year.
“It’s a form of therapy,” said Fusco. “It helps them increase their cardiovascular and muscles and it also increase their socialization skills. It’s a really important part of their learning to be a child as they grow and develop.”
Arthur’s mom can see the difference the tricycle is making.
“It’s strengthening his leg muscles. It’s helping with his stability in walking and other issues like sitting and being balanced," she said.
Davis said with each push and pull of the pedals, Arthur is also building confidence.
“In the beginning he couldn’t ride. I had to push him a lot but we went through one of the UT gardens. There was a lot of gravel and mulch and he got very upset, but he overcame it and he learned if he pushed hard enough that he could overcome," she said.
It’s a life lesson that Arthur’s mother hopes will carry him the distance.
"As a mom, I love seeing this … the independence," she said. "I can see a future. It enables me to see there could be a lot of independence in the future."
Hollywood star Channing Tatum and director Steven Soderbergh will be in Knoxville for a screening of their new movie Logan Lucky on Wednesday to benefit Variety of East Tennessee.