Two year old, Aacen hams it up for the media photographers as physical therapy students Dang Le, San Jose, CA, and Kelley Hohman, Fergus Falls, MN, measure him for the retrofitting of his new Lightning McQueen motorized car.

BISMARCK, ND — What happens when you combine the ingenuity and creativity of students from University of Mary’s physical therapy and engineering departments, and then add to it their love and enthusiasm for helping children in need?

To find the answer, all anyone has to do is look at the smiles on the faces of two children and those at BECEP. That’s because each of these Bismarck children will be a proud new owner of a custom made, tricked out and fully mobile car.

Two year old Aacen Huck has the University of Mary physical therapy students Dang Le, (middle) Kelley Hohman (left) & Kallee Oxborrow (right), laughing as he gets fitted for his new motorized Lightning McQueen car.

“A group of PT students are collaborating with engineering students along with myself, Drs. Terry Pilling and Rodrigo da Costa in engineering, to adapt three Go Baby Go power cars for two local children and the BECEP program in order to allow them to experience movement that they are unable to accomplish on their own,” said Dr. Heather Lundeen, assistant professor in the University of Mary’s Department of Physical Therapy.

Today the media was invited to the University of Mary Physical Therapy Center in Bismarck. At that time, students started working and modifying the cars.

The Huck family is all smiles. Aacen squeezes his dad, Aaron, and tugs on his beard thanking him for a great day, while his mom, Alysia, looks on.

“Giving back and being servant leaders in the classroom and in the community have always been part of the mission at the University of Mary,” added Lundeen. “This is very humbling for us all: we’re blessed to be able to put our classroom skills to work with this hands-on experience; and then to be in their presence and see the joy in their eyes as they experience this, is truly a gift from God.”

The students will then meet with the children during the course of the next couple of weeks: once for a preliminary installation and then a final fitting the week of Aug. 7.