Amarillo nonprofits react to Amtryke stolen from Amarillo teen with Down syndrome

Published: Jul. 17, 2023 at 6:09 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2023 at 6:11 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Three days ago, an Amarillo teen with Down syndrome had her specially-made Amtryke stolen.

Southwest AMBUCS, a nonprofit working to create independence for those with disabilities, gifted her the Amtryke a little over six weeks ago.

A member of AMBUCS says the theft is a shame, as these trykes are expensive and have been on back order since COVID.

“It took us over a year to get hers — understand that right now if we ordered it today, it would be the end of the year before we would be able to get another one,” said Brian Giffin, Ambility coordinator for Southwest AMBUCS.

Zoe spent two years on the waiting list for her bike that was recently stolen, and it cost upward of $1,000.

“They are you know, custom fit for every person, you know there’s hundreds of configurations that we do for these Amtrykes, that’s what makes them so special,” said Giffin.

Panhandle Down Syndrome Guild says when something like this happens to an individual, it’s heartbreaking, but even more so when it is someone who struggles with a disability.

“Any kid would be sad if something got stolen, and sometimes our kids who have Down syndrome, they don’t quite understand, and it’s not like you can go out to Walmart and purchase another bike for Zoe like that,” said President of the Panhandle Down Syndrome Guild Vicki Gordon.

Gordon went on to say that not only does this impact Zoe, but her family as well.

“Even though having a child with Down syndrome brings so much joy, there’s a lot of let downs in the journey of raising a child with Down syndrome. It’s just kind of another gut punch, just another set back,” said Gordon.

Giffin says although the bike is 100% replaceable, his hope is someone will find it and return it soon.