2002 Winner - Monay Gross

On April 10, 2002, 12-year-old Monay Gross saw independence from a new point of view – a bicycle seat. At a Mobility Day event, Monay, a Washington, DC pre-teen with cerebral palsy, rode an adaptive tricycle for the first time on her own – pedaling, steering and braking by her own power.

In an effort to help Monay continue to experience the joy, freedom and confidence she got from riding the tricycle by herself, Monay’s physical therapist, Claire Wong, began working with local disability groups to secure funding to buy Monay a trike of her own. At nearly $4,200 per trike, this was a tall order. 

Ms. Wong knew that in addition to the emotional benefits, the adaptive tricycle provided Monay with much needed physical therapy, cardiovascular and balance training. As Monay grew taller, she began experiencing balance loss and could stand only a brief time without the support of her arm or a walker. While she uses a power wheelchair at school and in the community, Monay must use a manual wheelchair in the small home she shares with her grandmother. Due to the home’s design, Monay must walk in certain areas that cannot accommodate her wheelchair. Because Monay’s grandmother is her primary caregiver and cannot provide a lot of physical assistance, it is imperative that Monay develop and maintain her mobility for her daily activities.

Monay can now stay on the road physical and cardiovascular therapy thanks to The Eric Fund and its donors. Supplementing the $1,075 donated by Silver Spring, Maryland’s SEEC, The Eric Fund granted Monay $3,250 to purchase an Adventurer adaptive tricycle with a special stationery trainer that lets her ride the trike indoors as well as outdoors with her friends. 

Monay enjoys the freedom of riding her adaptive tricycle in her neighborhood and exercising outside in the fresh air. She is also looking forward to riding in the cold. While her friends have to put their bicycles away for the winter, Monay can continue to ride at home, as she motors on to improved physical fitness.