Learning to ride a bike is something that many of us do growing up, but it’s not the same for all kids, especially those with disabilities.
But thanks to some local groups, these kids now have the ability to safely ride and reach that milestone.
Local kids with disabilities received custom-made adaptive bikes in Edinboro, ending with a parade and celebration.
Variety’s “My Bike” program provides life-changing opportunities for children with special needs by giving the custom bicycles tailor-made to those needs.
Organizers also said that the equipment helps give the family hope for the future.
A member of Variety’s team walked us through how people react to receiving the bikes.
“You see a lot of joy and you see a lot of tears because they’re overwhelmed. A lot of these parents, some of them didn’t even know if their child would be able to walk at a young age, were maybe told they wouldn’t be mobile at all,” said Deanna David, program manager. “So having this opportunity, it just can be a really overwhelmingly happy experience for the whole family.”
Variety features other programs involving needs not being met, such as their “My Stroller” program, providing adaptive strollers, and the “My Voice” program, which provides communications devices.
One family we spoke to was thrilled that their child was able to ride their bikes with their siblings. Providing something even as simple as a bike can do wonders for the social life and home life of a child.
“We were having some challenges with him riding a standard bike, even with training wheels, so we’re excited to get him into something where he can hang out with his siblings,” said Rich Harper, Aiden’s father.
“It makes me so happy that he’s finally able to ride a bike and be independent” said Saida Harper, Aiden’s mother.
If you know a child in need that could benefit this program, you can apply by heading to Variety’s Online Program Application.