UI students help boy born without an arm ride a bike - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UI students help boy born without an arm ride a bike

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Eight-year old Jonny Cole was born without most of his right arm which made riding a bike difficult. With the help of four University of Iowa Biomedical Engineering students he can now ride his bike with ease.

"Being born with one arm and not using a prosthetic you watch him as a dad adapt to a world that was designed for people with two arms," Douglas Cole, Jonny's father, said.

Douglas, a recent Iowa PhD graduate, originally went to the university's machine shop to ask for help in designing his son a bike. Instead, he got something even better.

"There's so many times where you just dream of taking everyone on a family bike ride, throwing them on a tag along behind my bike or going for a run where he's riding his bike along side me. It's stuff I've wanted to do for awhile," Cole said.

Since August, the four students have been working on designing Jonny a device that helps him ride his bike. This week they revealed their design, a 3-D cup that attaches to his bike.

"When we first met him he was really quiet, really timid. You can tell he didn't want to be on his bike. We had to kind of bribe him to get on," Kylie Hershberger, one of the four students, said.

She says now they see an entirely different side of him.

"He's just so much happier and more confident and more comfortable," she said.

Jonny shows no signs of slowing down on his bike either, telling us that he and his father are going to do RAGBRAI someday.

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