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Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

Paying it forward - One bicycle at a time

August 25, 2017

Reid Schultz and his mom, Nancy Schultz, donated a Schwinn Meridian tricycle in memory of Mason Schultz to former Madonna patient Mya Diacono, who outgrew her specialized tricycle and donated it to Madonna's Lincoln Campus for another child to enjoy. 

Nancy Schultz was in possession of a special bicycle in need of a new home. The purple Schwinn Meridian tricycle had belonged to her son, Mason, who passed away from brain cancer in April 2014. 

Nancy says Mason’s cancer affected his balance and ability to walk but not his spirit and his kind-hearted personality.  “Mason was a kind and thoughtful kid who wanted to help others be a kid,” said Nancy.   

Nancy’s desire to pay it forward in her son’s memory led her to the Madonna Foundation. There, staff connected the Elkhorn, Nebraska, mother to Mya Diacono, a traumatic brain injury survivor and 2017 Lincoln Campus GOAL Award honoree.

Two years ago, Mya spent several months recovering from severe head trauma at the Alexis Verzal Children’s Rehabilitation Unit. The Kansan relearned to walk, talk and eat after being involved in a serious car crash on her way home from school.

Today, the almost 12-year-old is back to riding bikes and horses, swimming and hanging out with family and friends. She outgrew her specialized bicycle and donated it to the Alexis Verzal Children’s Rehabilitation Unit. “My bike was too small and I wanted other kids to enjoy it,” said Mya.

Nancy says Mya’s fun-loving personality, hard work and remarkable recovery make her a perfect recipient for the bike. “It’s the next step in my independence,” added. 

Mya’s grandmother, Rose Nemchik, went on to explain, “The tricycle will not only keep Mya safe but it also helps her keep up with friends as she continues to make gains after her injury.  Mya’s family lives near a bike trail so we plan to use it often.”

For Nancy and her family, the donation is the next step on their healing journey. “We are blessed to contribute to help children in Mason’s memory,” she said.