17:00 PM

Paying It Forward: Traverse City Child Benefits from Multiple Acts of Kindness

Traverse City, MI -- The ATI Foundation presented an adaptive bicycle to 14-year-old Julian Rankin on Monday, June 13. Lack of muscle tone due to Cerebral Palsy prevents Julian from many physical activities, such as walking and riding a standard bicycle. The adaptive bicycle, part of the ATI Foundation’s ongoing partnership with Preston’s March for Energy (PMFE), will help Julian with exercise and ongoing physical therapy, and eventually provide the enjoyment that every child deserves.

Preston’s March for Energy was inspired the summer of 2011, when a boy named Preston was blessed to have an adaptive bike donated to him through a fundraiser developed by a family friend. The Buenaga family was amazed by this overwhelming support, and they have since been determined to “pay it forward” by raising money for other impaired children so they can realize their dream of riding their own bike. The cost of an adaptive bicycle ranges between $1,400 and $2,500. 

The donation of Julian’s bike, which was bike #141 for PMFE, was made possible by an ATI employee, whose family raised money inspired by the same “pay it forward” philosophy. Traverse City West Clinic Director, Dena Johnson, lost her mother in the fall of 2015. In lieu of flowers, her family asked friends and relatives to make a donation to the ATI Foundation in memory of their mother. 

“My mother had a passion for helping ‘little people’ as she called them,” said Johnson. “She spent her working career assisting children with disabilities in the school setting. What better way to share the love of my mother than by helping a child in need? Julian was the perfect candidate. His smile and energy would have melted my mother’s heart. We as a family are thankful to the ATI Foundation for providing the opportunity to be a part of this gift to Julian.” 

More than $2,000 was collected by the ATI Foundation to help a local child with physical impairments. Julian was nominated as the recipient for this donation. 

“This amazing gift to Julian is going to be just what he needs to improve his core strength and have fun riding with all his friends,” said Julian’s parents, Carlos and Jenny. “We sincerely thank all those who have helped make this dream a reality.”  

The ATI Foundation helps enhance and sustain a better quality of life for children with physical impairments by providing medical resources and financial assistance. The ATI Foundation was founded by ATI Physical Therapy, which operates more than 600 physical therapy clinics in 24 states, making it the nation’s largest physical therapy practice under one brand. To learn more about the ATI Foundation, please visit www.ATIFoundation.com. To learn more about Preston’s March for Energy, please visit www.prestonsmarch.org.