GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Despite challenges since birth, an 8-year-old Zeeland boy has a zest for life like no other. Luke Worley has the independence to get around thanks to the help of local nonprofit Alternatives in Motion.
Luke is in a typical classroom with his peers, moving on his own, partly because of the help of the organization. The non-profit helps hundreds in West Michigan like Luke use and own the mobility equipment they need to get around. The organization doesn't just help children like Luke, current clients range from 17 months to 101.
Luke loves to swim, and he does that in this special floating device. He takes walks outside with his Mom Dee in their modified jogger. Luke can wheel himself around in a dynamic stander. And his favorite thing of all, riding in his modified bike.
"It looks a little bit different. But he's still out riding a bike like everybody else," said Dee Worley, Luke's mom.
Some of that equipment was provided by Alternatives in Motion. The nonprofit helps bridge the expensive gap many insurance companies can't or won't cover. Luke is growing so fast, the insurance company can't keep up.
"About once every 5 years, they'll pay for a new wheelchair," said Worley. "How often does he need it? Probably every 3 to 4. We would not be able to afford all these pieces of equipment paying out of pocket."
"Without families donating to Alternatives in Motion, Luke wouldn't have got a wheelchair when he was 4," Worley continued. "He wants to be mobile. He wants to be with his friends. He loves people; relationships are very important to Luke. And so being able to be independent with kids his own age at school and out in the community have been tremendously important for us."
Tessa DiTirro serves on the Board of Directors of the organization.