JERSEYVILLE - Young Kenna Maag, 9, of Jerseyville, recently received a gift she will not forget from the Jersey Community High School Auto Shop.
Jersey Community High School automotive teacher Ben Schroeder came in contact with one of Kenna’s neighbors who talked about how the youngster couldn’t pedal and had outgrown her tricycle. Her mother, Vicky, was trying to figure out a solution to the situation when Schroeder and his students came to her rescue.
Kenna is one of a small number of children worldwide with Peroxisome Biogenesis Disorder (PSD). PSD results in autosomal recessive brain disorders that also result in skeletal and craniofacial dysmorphism, liver dysfunction, progressive sensorineural hearing loss and retinopathy.
Kenna’s mother, Vicky, said presently, there is no cure for PSD. The tricycle built by JCHS Auto Department works perfectly for Kenna and allows her to share similar fun with other children in the neighborhood.
Schroeder described what they did to complete the tricycle for Kenna: “Someone picked up a bicycle at Walmart and we cut the back of the bike off. The tubing and the bike was modified and welded on. The pedals were taken off and a chair from the grade school was added as a seat.”
After some hard work by the shop class, Kenna eventually had a new tricycle that fit her.
“We did this right before Christmas and I wanted to take their own ideas and make it better,” Schroeder said. “It was a good project for the kids. I think sometimes the kids don’t realize how much effect they can have in the community by doing something like this. The mom bought the bike and the parts were donated.”
Vicki Maag said she was so proud of the effort of the auto class and what they did for their daughter.
“I knew some of these kids have so much talent and they would be able to convert the bicycle for Kenna," Vicky Maag said.