GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - A 12-year-old Gautier girl with a rare brain disease has a little independence now. It's all thanks to a local nonprofit and a husband and wife from the American Legion. They purchased a therapy bike that doesn't only bring Madison Clemts happiness it also helps keep her healthy.
For Madison Clemts this is a dream come true--an Amtryke. Clemts suffers from a rare brain disorder called Holoprosencephaly or HPE. She's unable to walk long distances due to weak leg muscles and for years she's begged her mother for a bike. That's where some secret santa's stepped in.
"We bought a bicycle for a little girl that didn't have one and needed the exercise," Jim McKinney said.
A nonprofit called American Business Clubs or AMBUCs and Jim and Sue McKinney purchased the $1,200 bike then a business called Cycle Plus made the bike specially tailored for Clemts. Clemts gift marks the 11th therapy bike that AMBUCs has given away to disabled people.
"We provide independence. They feel like they can get out and they can do. Whereas otherwise they would just sit there," said Director of AMBUCs Tania Whitfield
After 10 surgeries Clemts mother says her daughter has been through a lot. She also says her daughter's life expectancy is just 40 years making this type of happiness all the more worth it.
"She was soo excited. She was really excited and she has picked it up within 30 minutes. You should see her riding. It is incredible and it's going to be so good for her muscles," said Sue McKinney.
"I like riding bikes," said Clemts.
Because of her weak leg muscles Clemts could only operate a bike that was specially made for her. But because her family couldn't afford the costly bike, she went without one for a while.
But now she has her bike and new found freedom that allows her to move faster and go where she wants. Officials with AMBUCs say their nonprofit usually helps disabled veterans receive therapy bikes. But when they heard about Clemts disability they knew they had to help her.