Spring Kicks Off for 30+ Kids!

April has been one exciting month for us with three presentations impacting more than 30 kids from 10 counties!

On Wednesday, April 5th, Variety presented equipment with the Cambria County Commissioners and AFSCME (who sponsored one adaptive bike during the presentation).

The kids are pictured above on their new adaptive bikes / adaptive strollers with Cambria Co. Commissioner President Tom Chernisky, who led the parade on a bike.

On Tuesday, April 11th, Variety presented equipment with the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV and their staff!

Bobby is pictured above on his new green bike with his parents and MIU IV Executive Director, Dr. Wayde Killmeyer.

On Thursday, April 13th, Variety presented equipment with AHN’s Allegheny General Hospital and more than 100 members of their staff. During the event, we were presented with a check by Dr. George Gabriel the AGH Medical Staff to sponsor an adaptive bike for Kody (seen below).

Kody is all smiles on his new bike with AGH’s Duke Rupert and Dr. George Gabriel, his twin sister Krissy, and parents Kim and Chad.

Tracey Shea-Derby, mother of Tyler, a child who was given an adaptive bike (at AGH), explained the importance of the day: “It means having a chance to be included as well as providing an opportunity for others to see what he can do instead of what he can’t.”

Variety is still seeking to identify every single eligible child that could benefit from an adaptive bike, adaptive stroller, and / or a communication device. Any help in spreading the word in your local community would be incredible!

It Made My Heart Smile…

On August 31, 2016, Variety presented 12 adaptive bikes, 13 adaptive strollers, and 10 communication devices at Jefferson Hospital with its CEO, Louise Urban!

Gage is all smiles on his new adaptive bike!

Gage, age 16 (pictured above) received an adaptive bike that day, and to say he was excited would be an understatement. What was so meaningful to me were the words of his mother, Tracy, who reminded me how much impact we are having on kids like Gage, and his entire family.

Tracy told us,

Gage is working with only one lung in addition to cardiopulmonary stenosis, epilepsy, snow flake cataracts in both eyes, hearing issues, walking issues, and global delays.

But Gage is SO excited about this bike. He has all these plans for who he is going to ride bikes with now. Before, as the other kids would be out riding their bikes, Gage would only feel comfortable on a big wheel, but he simply couldn’t keep up with them.

When we went to get him fitted for the bike, he was truly excited about riding a big boy bike, and he felt safe / comfortable riding it, which made me all teary eyed.

It made my heart smile to watch him accomplish another milestone. 

This program is important to so many families who are less fortunate, have mentally, medically, or physically challenges loved ones. ‘My Bike’ is making a difference in this world, one children and family at a time… giving hope, building confidence, encouraging independence, and providing self-esteem because of your generosity.”

Additionally, Variety presented 5 adaptive bikes, 1 adaptive stroller, and 1 communication device at Allegheny General Hospital on August 26, 2016 with its COO, Duke Rupert.

Cecelia is sitting on her new pink bike with her sister ready to steer her from behind.

Cecelia, age 6 (pictured above) not only received an adaptive bike, which she could now ride alongside her sisters, but she received a communication device as well. Her mother, Briene shared how important this device would be by saying,

My daughter has intractable epilepsy, Fragile X Syndrome and Global Developmental Delay, which have caused her to not be able to speak.

Cecelia is a very intelligent child and her receptive skills are amazing. She simply can’t express what she needs or feels through words.

She tries very hard to say words, but those who do not spend every day with her have a hard time understanding.

Cecelia learns quickly and easily, so I feel the use of an iPad as a communication device will help her at school and at home. It will give my Cecelia a voice and allow her to succeed in her life without frustration.”

Let these two beautiful stories be a small reminder of the life-changing impact that we are creating together for kids in our community.