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Act of kindness helps nonprofit continue therapy for farmers

The nonprofit organization, On With Life, received two new tractor tires to continue a certain form of therapy they haven't fully utilized in a year.

ANKENY, Iowa — A request by an employee at the nonprofit organization On With Life asking an Ankeny Facebook community page for tires led that organization to resume a form of therapy they have not been able to fully utilize in a year.

The new tires were donated by a farmer who the organization said wanted to remain anonymous. The tires were used to replace two-flat ones on a tractor the organization has on its grounds. 

The tractor is used for occupational therapy to help patients, a good amount who are farmers or from rural areas, recover from neurological damage like a brain injury and rebuild their life. 

"We work with farmers to be able to get them back on and off their tractors so that they can be able to lift themselves up and manipulate the steering wheel," Gail McGaughy a physical therapist at On With Life said.  

McGaughy said for someone who is dealing with a brain injury and participating in activities they are used to like riding the tractor, it's an act that will make sense to them and could be beneficial to a certain individual's recovery path.

"If your thing is to be on a tractor all the time that's very, very important to you, then we need to practice working on using the tractor," McGaughy said. "So that it begins to make sense in their brain so that we can have an activity that they're motivated by."

The tractor is just one of the outside tools the facility uses to help people rebuild their lives. 

The others are checking the mailbox, walking on a gravel road and opening a fence, which are supposed to resemble life in rural portions of the state.

And McGaughy said she is happy the tractor had its tires replaced because this means patients can use it again and thankful it came from a community member.

 "The community embraces us and helps us where we need help," McGaughy said. 

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