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Sunshine Sammy

Superhero on three wheels

When Samuel comes zooming around the corner on his trike, people can’t help but stop and smile. And the biggest smiles of all are on his parents’ faces. The young teenager is a true ray of sunshine – and, thanks to his TRIX, mobility is fun again.

Beyond a field of head-high crops, the sound of a motor can be heard. But not a real one: a child is going vroom, vroom, vrooommm! Then a boy comes barreling around the corner on a trike, screaming with delight. Vroom. Followed by a small cloud of dust, which has barely settled by the time he’s out of sight again.

 

 
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“Samuel is our ray of sunshine,” says Betty Fernandez, the boy’s mother. “He wakes up practically laughing and is in a good mood all day long,” adds his father, David. Samuel and his parents are on one of their “walks”, which look something like this: 13-year-old Samuel races around on his TRIX while Betty and David try to catch him … the family’s own version of tag. Or he rides ahead to an agreed stopping place and waits for them to catch up.

 

 
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Once the parents – finally! – arrive, Samuel gets a gummybear treat for his patience. “The two of us aren’t really bike freaks,” explains Betty, almost apolo - getically, “which is why we go walking with him. But we still have loads of fun.” Especially Samuel. It wasn’t always this way: Samuel has Sjögren-Larsson syndrome, a genetic disorder that is actually most common in Sweden. In many cases, the disease progresses during periods of rapid growth, causing severe spasticity. After puberty, the condition remains stable. This is why Samuel is currently spending a lot of time in therapy sessions: occupational therapy, speech therapy, and wheelchair sports.

 

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The disease also causes mental retardation. Therefore, he can only be out and about when someone is with him. Samuel first experienced triking at the summer festival of his special school for physically disabled children. “The TRIX is part of his therapy – but it’s the part that’s really fun for him,” explains David, who works in the quality assurance department of a pharmaceutical company and is therefore no stranger to the field of medicine.

 

 
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Samuel uses a rollator and can only stand with the help of special devices called “orthoses”, which support his joints. But in the driver’s seat of his trike, he experiences how much fun mobility can be. “Because of his spasticity, he wasn’t able to ride a standard TRIX with gears and a freewheel – he can’t pedal consistently.”

 

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In other words, a little more customization was needed – no problem with the versatility of HASE BIKES: “We had them equip the trike with a fixed gear and special pedals with calf support. Now, riding is a piece of cake.” Without a freewheel, the pedals keep moving as long as the trike is in motion, even if Samuel loses his pedaling rhythm. And everyone knows that fixies are the latest rage.

 

 

Another requirement: the TRIX had to be matt black. Like all boys his age, Samuel loves super heroes. And with the TRIX, he now has his very own “Batmobile”. Thanks to the fixed gear, Samuel can even ride in reverse – if ever he accidently rolls a few centimeters past the agreed stopping point …

Text: HASE BIKES

 

All details about the TRIX can be found here.

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