Electric Bike Technologies Donates Liberty Trikes to Children to Aid Mobility

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by Mary Chapman |

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To help children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) gain mobility and independence, Electric Bike Technologies (EBT) is donating 10 Liberty Trikes — and plans to double that gift next year.

The Liberty Trike is a folding and active-mobility tricycle that can be used by children with SMA and similar physical challenges.

The electric tricycle offers a range of independent mobility that can seem elusive in the traditional medical mobility device domain, the company said. The 750-watt Liberty Trikes have a top speed of 12 miles per hour and a range of eight to 20 miles. They are touted by Forbes as a “hipper mobility scooter” that particularly help individuals with restricted mobility.

“Kids with SMA deserve a better mobility option,” Jason Kraft, CEO of Electric Bike Technologies, said in a press release. “And their parents, that give everything to make their children’s lives better, could use a little help.”

SMA is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by muscle weakness that leads to atrophy. As SMA progresses, movement becomes slower, and patients can lose the ability to control voluntary movement.

EBT’s decision to donate was sparked by an e-mail to the company last year from Kimberly Heinrich, whose 11-year-old daughter, Allison, has SMA. Heinrich was seeking advice on what trike might help Allison get exercise and participate in family bike rides.

In that email, “Kim said, ‘She needs to ‘use it’ or she’ll lose it… it’s the motto of these kids trying to maintain mobility and freedom against a cruel disease. This is not just exercise but social equity, that she matters just as much as her brothers and other peers.'”

Heinrich’s email concluded: “I will do everything I can to help make it happen for her.”

A week after the correspondence, according to Kraft, Heinrich and her daughter were in EBT’s warehouse near Philadelphia so Allison could take a test ride.

“I’ve never seen anyone take to any of our electric trikes the way Allison took to the Liberty Trike,” Kraft said. “I was moved by Allison but something hit me like a ton of bricks that day. I have three kids close to Allison’s age and it was crystal clear that Kim would sacrifice anything to improve Allison’s quality of life. At that moment, I knew we were not only going to help Allison, but we were going to help Kim too.”

EBT has enlisted Heinrich to help pick this year’s Liberty Trike recipients. She’s chosen four families so far, according to Heinrich, and also has agreed to help with next year’s donations.

The Liberty Trike is sold directly by the company at a cost of $1,498, according to EBT’s website.

SMA affects as many as 10,000 to 25,000 children and adults in the U.S., according to the SMA Foundation.