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Mobility for Everyone

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

An orange bike leaning on a tree by the lake with colorful Fall Foliage. Photos by Ines Leong of L-INES Photo
Gum Jai by the Lake

Aside from photography, cycling has been part of my life for a long time. But, like everyone else, during COVID, it became ever more essential and a "ticket" to be outside my home and among people at a safe distance.

When I signed up for a really long bike ride with a full year to train for, I also decided to build a custom bike that would fit my body. So it was strictly by chance that I came to know Sandra Alfonzo, my bike mechanic teacher, who was kind enough to share her knowledge with me.

Photo of Gum Jai the Orange Bike with Sandra Alfonso of AdaptAbility and Ines Leong of L-INES Photo
Sandra Alfonzo with Ines (photo by Ida Tam)

The orange bike is on a bike rack being worked on by Ines Leong and Sandra Alfonso.

Through these classes, I have learned that she is the founder of a non-profit organization, AdaptAbility. The organization helps children and teens with special needs, regardless of financial income, access a bicycle and experience the joy of riding a bike as part of the passage of growing up as a child. Suddenly my classes with Sandra are not only bike building but aspiring stories of each tailor-made bicycle for each child with special needs. In addition, I was honored to have the opportunity to meet and photograph one of Sandra's special needs partners and her ongoing projects.

Rikky is a recovering stroke patient working on regaining his mobility with a custom-made tricycle

Rikky is a recovering stroke patient who is regaining his mobility by meeting Sandra weekly for physical therapy with a custom-tailored tricycle that can be powered by pedaling by feet or hands. During the day of photography, I struggled to catch up with Rikky because he was moving like the wind! It was an honor to witness Rikky's excitement and joy through cycling. The act of mobility and the ability to take photos, walk, hike, bike, stand, and open a jar with your hand are often overlooked. As someone who often twists her ankle and "benched out" for a couple of days, the thought of being unable to do what I love often creeps into my thoughts. It is also why I am humbled to collaborate with Sandra and her consequential mission. I cannot imagine if I lose my mobility and being unable to work as a photographer. That being said, I find myself in the fortunate position to volunteer my time and expertise to help document AdaptAbility's journey.

Sandra Alfonso of AdaptAbility is working with Rikky, a stroke-recovering patient, on his mobility.

It would be fantastic if you could join me to help spread the word about this tremendous organization. If you have the capacity to donate $100 or more, I would like to offer an 8x10 print from the selection below as a token of appreciation. Once the donation is processed, please kindly email the receipt to receive a print. Thank you so much for your generosity!

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