PSU student helps loved one regain ability to ride a bike again

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PITTSBURG, Kan. — School often creates practical opportunities for students, but what they do with those opportunities can often make a big difference for someone else.

One Pitt State student is using her time in the classroom to help someone she loves get back to something he never thought possible.

There’s defining moments in our lives where sometimes things just happen out of our control. But just like riding a bike you have to find a way to keep moving to maintain your balance. And sometimes when you fall, you may need a little help to get you back on your way.

Jeff Wharton was once told he’d never walk or function normally again after suffering a severe stroke ten years ago. Some said it was a miracle Jeff even survived. He defied those odds.

And although he may not have gotten his chance to participate in the triathlon he trained so hard for, his daughter Jamie gathered a group of Pitt State students to help Jeff get back doing something he loves, biking.

“I stood up on the first day of my class, on the first day of our senior design class, and presented the idea” Jamie Wharton said. “Everyone was kind of able to send in their applications for which project they wanted to be a part of. And it was really special when I would say about 90% of the class sent in applications for my project.”

From there Jamie started a GoFundMe page in order to raise money for the project. In a matter of a week, donations poured with $3,000 collected in just a few days. The page was able to bring in $5,000 for the project.

The bike is just weeks away from being completely finished and ready for her father to use. The bike is custom made for Jeff. No other of the sort exists. It may be a struggle, but with a little help he’ll soon be back on his way finding his balance.

“From what he’s told me, it feels like I’m giving him back a piece of his old life that was taken away from him,” Jamie Wharton said.

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