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By Cornish Guardian

Wheelchair racer Ben Oliver couldn’t have asked for more when a local businessman came forward to fund the purchase of a custom-made racing bike for him.

After reading in the Cornish Guardian about former Bodmin College student Ben’s need for a bike in order to compete in national events, Nigel Wiggett from Bridge Bike Hire in Wadebridge offered to fund the project. And Ben, who has Cerebral Palsy, went to Loughborough-based Bromakin, one of the country’s main manufacturers of racing wheelchairs, last weekend to collect it before Nigel officially presented it to him at Bridge Bike Hire.

Ben’s mum Kerensa said: “After the Cornish Guardian ran the first story on Ben I had a call from Nigel saying Bridge Bike Hire wanted to fund a racing chair for him after he had read the story.

“Ben then contacted Bromakin to enquire how we went about getting one. Ben went up to Coventry in July to compete in a national competition and arranged to meet one of Bromakin’s sales reps. He measured Ben, discussed seating and foot positions and styles of chair that would suit Ben’s type of Cerebral Palsy.

“Ben chose to have his chair in black and white to represent the colours of the Cornish flag.

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By Triness Kuhn

Cindy Payton and husband, Glenn, serve as chairman of the board of NOLA AMBUCS, a new nonprofit organization that is compiling a “Wish List” of special needs children who cannot ride traditional bikes.

In partnership with the United Cerebral Palsy of Greater New Orleans, children with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, spina bifida, autism and similar disabilities are identified as youth who would benefit from these custom-designed tricycles.

Through donations and fundraisers, NOLA AMBUCS purchases the trikes that operate as foot and hand cycles, including a combination of hand/foot powered cycles. This allows children with disabilities to move around independently, while improving their motor skills, endurance and strength.

Families interested in a customized trike for their child should email Cindy Payton at nolaambucs@gmail.com or call UCPGNO at 504.461.4266.

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By Katharine Cassens

Charles Dieteman, Charlie to his teachers and classmates, honored World Cerebral Palsy Day Oct. 1 by collecting, and then donating, more than $600 to Niagara Cerebral Palsy.

Dieteman, a sixth grade student at Lewiston-Porter Middle School, was born with cerebral palsy (CP), a chronic condition affecting the areas of the brain that control movement and muscle coordination.

According to Tara McLellan, Dieteman’s mother, his CP is mild, but he still has his struggles. Less than 7 percent of individuals with CP have more than one type. He has more than three.

“It isn’t CP that defines Charlie,” said Joy Khatib, a teacher at the multi-age Intermediate Education Center (IEC). “He is widely known throughout both schools for his contagious smile, kind personality and compassion towards others. Charlie possesses a relentless spirit that never gives up and always sees the positive side to any situation.”

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