Our Families Go ABOVE & BEYOND!

The pure joy of our kids is inspiring to us all who see it, but so is the love and devotion of their families, who are the true heroes for our kids.

Anna, age 15 received her new adaptive bike through Variety last Wednesday, June 5th at the Capital Area Intermediate Unit, and she rode with great joy in our bike parade!

Anna is pictured above on her new Black & Gold bike with her power wheelchair & Hoyer lift in the background.

Her mom, Deb told us a bit about Anna’s journey and why this new bike was SO IMPORTANT,

“Because of Anna’s extended illness, she has lost a lot of strength. Her physician called her deconditioned. Anna has been asking for two years to ride her bike, but her current adaptive tricycle is not supportive enough and is now too small.

Riding a bike is very motivating for Anna and she will regain strength if she rides, but we need a bike that is safe for her. It will also motivate her to go outside since the neighborhood kids are always outside playing and riding. For a home-bound kid, that’s an incredible opportunity. She will feel like she can participate with her peers.”

Behind the scenes, it was Anna’s loving team who worked to make the presentation and bike parade possible for her, and I wanted to describe it for you:

  • Anna’s mom, Deb and older sister, Kaitlyn came hours early to the CAIU to drop off her Hoyer Life (seen in above photo), which is needed to lift Anna out of her wheelchair and onto her bike.
  • Then, Deb and Kaitlyn had to go back home to pick up Anna and bring her over for the presentation – there’s not enough room to fit Anna and the lift in the adaptive van.
  • With Anna’s mom, sister, OT, and aid, along with our partners from Blackburn’s, they used the Hoyer Lift to get Anna onto her bike during the presentation. The result of all that work is seen in Anna’s beautiful smile as she’s finally able to ride a bike. 
  • After the fantastic parade with all the CAIU staff cheering on our kids as they rode down the hallway, once again her devoted team had to use the Hoyer Lift to get Anna back into her wheelchair. Deb then drove Anna home, and then returned to pick-up the bike and Hoyer Lift.

It hit me so hard to watch the deeply committed love of a mother and sister to give Anna the opportunity to be included and ride a bike just like other kids do.

Their commitment to Anna was inspiring to see and it could have been missed in the commotion of our presentation. It hit me was that the best way to honor the love and devotion of this mother is to make sure that her daughter and every child like hers gets the opportunity to ride a bike.

After the presentation, Deb told me,

I was so excited that she was able to pedal the bike without having to be pushed! She hasn’t been able to do that in many years. I could see her whole body moving as she pushed the pedals. I felt hopeful that she would get stronger and feel better now that she has a fun, motivating way to exercise. My heart was warmed by her joy and excitement. She was beaming!