“My love for cycling became Evie’s love too.”
Evie was born with Zellweger Syndrome, a regressive condition caused by cells called peroxisomes that don’t function normally. In turn, this impacts many organs in the body, and affected Evie both cognitively and physically. Evie’s mum loves cycling, and so when Evie was given a wish by the charity, Make a Wish, she decided to find a ‘bicycle’ that Evie could learn to ride. After a lot of research, they came across Tomcat Trikes and, in 2012, Evie had her first assessment.
By the time she was fourteen months old, Evie was moderately deaf and completely blind. Her hearing worsened over time, and she eventually became profoundly deaf. As she got older, she also developed more mobility issues, and due to cognitive impairment, she also needed a level of supervision while cycling.
To make cycling a fun experience, Evie needed:
- A way for Evie’s mum to control the trike and supervise
- Something that could be adapted as Evie’s disability progressed
- Something that would improve Evie’s muscle strength and quality of life
When Evie was four years old, on 30th April 2012, she had her first assessment with a Tomcat assessor who was able to set a trike up specifically for her. The trike had a Carer Control™ handle for Evie’s mum, to keep her safe and control the speed, and it was also weight-supporting, meaning that it could still be used as Evie’s weight-bearing became more difficult. As the disability progressed, the family were also able to add other accessories to continue giving Evie the support she needed to keep cycling.
The trike added hugely to Evie’s quality of life. She rode it at least once or twice a week, and it gave her significant freedom and independence – she also loved being outside! It helped her to build and maintain muscle strength and mobility. The trike also came with on many family holidays, to be ridden along sandy beaches at low tide and admired by all.
Each week, Evie’s mum would pick her up from school and they would ride through the local park, where Evie would always have a huge smile on her face, excitedly ringing the bell! They would go on rides, whatever the weather, making the most of every single moment on the trike.
“When Evie was asked what her favourite activity was, she usually signed cycling with a huge smile on her face.”
Sadly, Evie passed away at home, in early 2020, at only twelve years old. Although her life was short, it was full of love, fun, laughter, tenderness, creativity, and adventure. She is remembered as a very happy and determined young person, with a great sense of humour, who loved being close to people she knew well and was always ready for her next adventure.
Her family made the decision to give the trike to her school, so that other children can enjoy the trike as much as Evie. This plaque was attached in her memory.