When describing himself, the first thing 17-year-old Trevor Evans mentions is his love of sports.
Although he has cerebral palsy, that doesn’t diminish his passion for all things sports-related. It’s evident in his pride for being the manager of the WCHS basketball team, his seasonal job as a scorekeeper at the Civic Center, and the bright red Georgia jersey he dons.
“Trevor has always wanted to do what everyone else is doing,” said mom Deborah Evans. “Trevor and his three friends used to ride bikes, but once Trevor outgrew his tricycle and two-wheeler with training wheels, he couldn’t ride anymore so from 6 to 9 years old, he ate his heart out wanting a bike.”
That’s when Ashley Schilling, who worked alongside hisphysical therapist at Vanderbilt, stepped in. As president of a nonprofit organization called Music City Trykes, she was able to adapt a tricycle for Trevor and present it to him when he was 10 years old.
“Our primary purpose is to create independence through mobility and provide adaptive tricycles to children who are otherwise unable to ride a regular bike,” said Schilling.
Once Trevor outgrew his small tricycle, Music City Trykes presented him with a bigger trike. However, without gears, Trevor couldn’t peddle it uphill and his legs would tire. So, Schilling and his therapists ran some tests to figure out a solution.
“They ended up figuring out the muscles you’re supposed to use when you pick up your leg to push over and the muscle you push down to use force were firing at the same time and my brain couldn’t figure out to use one and then the other,” explained Trevor. “My brain was trying to do both at the same time so they took that trike back and gave me the one I have now that has gears to make going uphill easier.”
Added Deborah, “Ashley’s husband Kyle, who is a mechanical engineer, put in the gear box. It wasn’t an easy feat. He contacted numerous bike companies and surprised Trevor with the new custom-made tricycle on Labor Day.”
So what’s this tricycle’s purpose? According to Trevor, it’s for pleasure while helping to strengthen his body.
“A bike does so many things for you and you don’t even realize it,” said Trevor with a smile. “The first time we rode, I told them roads that you don’t even think are uphill are in fact uphill.”
According to Deborah, Trevor has come a long way with the help of his physical therapy and numerous surgeries. She explained Trevor was born 10 weeks early and had a grade one brain hemorrhage that caused his spastic diplegia cerebral palsy.
“He couldn’t even sit up until he was almost 2 years old,” said Deborah. “Then, with the help of his ankle foot orthotics, walker and surgery on his spine, Trevor took his first steps at Ashley Furniture going from couch to couch at age 4.”
Trevor admits some things are still challenging like stairs and anything that requires precision in movement, but he said he’ll always give anybody his best shot.
“If I had to say something, I’d say that if it’s something that makes you different in the eyes of the public, don’t be afraid. It’s OK to do what is different,” said Trevor. “So what your bike has three wheels, you are still doing the same thing.”
Trevor’s future plans include attending TTU or MTSU to become a basketball coach and possibly even pursue a career in sports broadcasting.