Thomas Handcycles on New Trails

Thomas comes from a very outdoorsy family that often goes hiking around his home and on the many trails in the BC mountains. Thomas has also been active his whole life, representing Canada in wheelchair tennis and more recently winning a USTA Collegiate Men’s Wheelchair Single’s Title. 

Thomas has been living with a spinal cord injury that has limited his access to some of his favourite activities, most notably when it came to cycling. He has to plan well in advance and arrange to rent an all-terrain handcycle so he can join his family on the trails. This was both a burden on time, spontaneity, finances, and physical activity options. 

With the help of Shine donors and supporters, Thomas’ opportunities have broadened. The life-changing gift of his very own cross-country handcycle allows Thomas to cycle across all types of terrain without missing out on any of the social adventures with friends and family.  

Thomas’ handcycle is not only a way to get around, but also a means to independence, freedom, and endless possibilities. It encourages him to spend more time outdoors, stay fit, and explore. “Thomas, almost daily, will go out on his own rediscovering all the trails that since his accident has been unable to access. This have given him a new sense of independence,” his mom shares. 

Thomas has seen other benefits they did not even imagine when he received his handcycle. “Because he spends the majority of his life in his wheelchair, he is very reluctant to do stretches for his legs to straighten them out, his legs haven't been able to straighten out even when he's laying down. On the bike he has to have his legs out straight so it's actually stretching his legs which was a huge benefit we didn't even realize," his mom reveals. 

“I would like to thank everyone at Shine for everything you have given me for my Shine Dream. I will thoroughly enjoy the bike for years to come. You have given me back my independence to get out on the trails again, where my family spends most of our time.” – Thomas.

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