This little fella is Gabriel.  He's full of life and always smiling.  Gabriel also has a condition called spina bifida.  Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don't form properly. We want to make sure Gabriel can join in the fun with his friends, get some exercise, and gain social skills with a therapy bicycle custom built for him.  Our goal is $2875 which will cover the cost.

Please join us in helping this special little guy.

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Gabriel's condition falls under the broader category of neural tube defects. The neural tube is the embryonic structure that eventually develops into the baby's brain and spinal cord and the tissues that enclose them.

Normally, the neural tube forms early in pregnancy, and it closes by the 28th day after conception. In babies with spina bifida, a portion of the neural tube fails to develop or close properly, causing defects in the spinal cord and in the bones of the spine.  Spina bifida can range from mild to severe, depending on the type of defect, size, location and complications. When early treatment for spina bifida is necessary, it's done surgically, although such treatment doesn't always completely resolve the problem.

With his condition, Gabriel is doing his best to maintain his mobility thru walking supported on a treadmill.  While this is an effective treatment, it's also very challenging and requires doctor visits.  The McLindon Family Foundation wants to help Gabriel's family by offering him therapy and exercise on an adaptive bicycle.

The challenge to be addressed by MFF is that there are several barriers that prevent special needs children from getting exercise. MFF provides special needs children with a safe and fun way to experience the benefits of exercise through the use of an adaptive bike. Research shows that when special needs children participate in recreational activities it promotes inclusion, decreases deconditioning, optimizes physical functioning and enhances overall well-being (Murphy et al., 2008). Research also states that special needs children are more restricted in their participation in recreational activities, have lower levels of fitness, and have higher levels of obesity than their peers without disabilities (Murphy et al., 2008).  Many times the only form of exercise that a special needs child may get is when they attend physical and occupation therapy. Almost all of the physical therapy clinics that MFF has come into contact with use adaptive bikes in their clinic as a form of therapeutic exercise.

An adaptive bike can cost thousands of dollars, which is not affordable for many families, especially when they are caring for a child with a disability or chronic condition. For this reason, 3TSports is riding to help MFF provide Gabriel with his own bike.