Evan McClendon is a 21 year old student at the University of Oregon. He suffers from a neuromuscular disorder, causing him to have weak legs and often times walking with crutches because he can’t physically walk long distances and he doesn’t have a car. he’s now asking the public to help find his tricycle.
McClendon has never let physical disabilities stop him from leading a normal life.
“I have a neuromuscular disease and I have no balance. I’m unable to ride anything with two wheels so I ride a trike,” he says.
This tricycle gives him mobility and freedom to get around without having to rely on others.
“I ride it to and from school everyday. My legs are extremely weak. My feet are really bad. I’m getting full-time leg braces here in the next couple weeks. I’ll have them for the rest of my life,” McClendon says.
Early Sunday morning when McClendon came back home from a wedding reception, he found the chain around the bike had been cut and the tricycle nowhere to be found.
“It’s crazy because it’s been here for so long and I just can’t believe that somebody would take it,” he said.
McClendon says with the tricycle gone, not only has he lost his mode of transportation, but also one of the few physical activities he can do.
“The only reason my legs are any kind of strong is the fact that I ride it so much. There’s really not much that can be done as far as my legs go, anymore. I’ve had 14,15, 20 corrective surgeries at this point,” he said.
Over the last year, he and his friends say he’s put over a thousand miles on the tricycle, even riding from Eugene to Cottage Grove in honor of his uncle who was diagnosed with cancer, and is now cancer-free.
“It empowers him. It allows him to do the things that normal people can do that he often can’t do,” said Thomas Allen, a friend of McClendon.
Now he’s hoping for someone to help bring the normalcy back into his life.
“It’s what keeps me going from day to day. Riding that thing is like the best thing I can do for myself,” said McClendon.
He says the red tricycle has a big green box on the back with UO decals.
He says he’s already reported it stolen and anyone who has seen it or has information is asked to call also call police.