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Lauren Lewis
BY Lauren Lewis

The Faces of the Great Bike Giveaway

In case you missed it Friendship Circle launched the Great Bike Giveaway this past week.  The Great Bike Giveaway is a national contest giving away adaptive bikes to children with special needs. We are partnering with bike companies from around the U.S. to provide some of the best adaptive bikes to the children and young adults who need them most.

Over 700 participants have submitted a picture of their child with special needs and a short description of why their child needs an adaptive bike. Additionally, we have already raised  over $45,000 to add an additional 40 bikes to the Giveaway. Below are just 16 of the many deserving submissions that we selected to highlight the amazing children with special needs hoping to receive an adaptive bike.

How You Can Help

1. Spread The Word

Whether you have entered this contest or not, we need your help in spreading the word about the Great Bike Giveaway. Share this post or the Great Giveaway Page so more children will have a chance to win an adaptive bike.

2. Donate

You can make a small (or big) donation to help add more bikes to the Great Bike Giveaway. Once enough money is raised a new bike will be added to the drawing. Please consider donating by visiting friendshipcircle.org/bikes/stats. Thank you!

*As to not promote any of the participants, we are not providing links to specific pages.

Antonio

AntonioOur son was born in 2007 with bilateral congenital glaucoma. He has had over 67 surgeries thus far, including three cornea transplants. He is legally blind in his left eye and recently just suffered a devastating detached retina in his right eye causing him to go blind in his right eye. We think the Mobo Cruiser would be excellent for him so he still has his freedom to ride a bike as his peers do but he will be closer to the ground for safety reasons. We have an area by our home which would be perfect for him to ride. The Mobo would allow our son the freedom to enjoy what every child his age loves to do, ride a bike. We have two legally blind/blind children so this bike would certainly be put to great use.

Sarah

SarahSarah is a 10 year old girl with Down Syndrome. She loves riding her adaptive tricycle but that makes it difficult for us to go for bike rides together. I am a single mom with 2 boys, 8 and 6 years old, as well as Sarah. I have to walk with her on her bike now and the boys are wanting to take off. Sarah would love to take off with them. This bike would solve our problem amazingly. Sarah and I could ride right along with the boys.

Raymond

RaymondRay was born in all normal and traditional aspects. At the age of 20 months he became ill with a bacterial throat infection that caused respiratory arrest then cardiac arrest. He was left with HIE (hypoxic ischemic Encephalopy) in short, global braindamage. He is a very intelligent 4 year old trapped inside a body that just won’t cooperate. He is wheel chair bound. He very much wants to ride “motorcycle” , what he calls bikes, outside with the other kids. There is no way I will be able to afford him one. But I would love to help him sport one and become a part of his community.

Paisley

paisley-image-383x246Paisley is 5 1/2 years old and has been diagnosed with Autism- she non-verbal and has cognitive delays. She is a very busy child- always on the go and moving. She does not have the ability to balance or safely maneuver a bicycle herself – but loves the movement and enjoys the ride itself. Every kid has the right to enjoy the feeling of riding with the wind in their face and this would be a great opportunity for her to have – also acquiring additional skills that will help her in many areas of her life.

Joseph

JosephJoseph has Down syndrome. Do to his poor muscle tone its hard for him to ride a bike for very long. With the Buddy bike we would be able to go on family bike rides again. We will also be able to use the bike with our other son how has Down syndrome when he is older.

Skyler

skylerSkyler is a 12 year old little boy with congenital quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, intractable epilepsy, and lack of coordination. He is the happiest little man G-d could of given us. Skyler has three older sisters and two nieces he loves to play with. We try to include him in everything we do. Skyler loves to go camping, and ride bikes. We have tried for the past 18 months to get him a trike like some of the other kids at his school. Skyler gets to use one at school and absolutely loves his, he smiles and squeals and claps when on it. We want to be able to place Skyler safely on a bike to ride with his family, or allow me to push and walk with him. We camp and the kids can bring their bikes, or rent one, but Skyler doesn’t understand how to make it work. We want him out of his wheelchair and riding like the other kids. He loves to be outside in the fresh air and he is too big for the bike carriers.

Cyndimae

cyndimaeCyndimae is an 11 year old girl who struggles with Dravet Syndrome, a devastating type of epilepsy that robs her of many minutes of nearly every day. During her stable times, Cyndimae loves fast roller coasters, the waves at Old Orchard Beach, and trying to keep up with her older sisters. She is truly an inspiration, because no matter how many times she fights for her life, she wears her smile and her love of life on her sleeve, along with her huge heart. She loves to live, and her parents are doing everything possible to make that life full of the activities  Cyndimae could really use a bike that does not tip over like a store bought one. As she likes to go fast, turning corners on a regular bike with training wheels, she often tips over.

Isabel

isabelShe has severe sensory processing disorder which has lead to delayed gross and fine motor skills, poor motor planning, and difficulty with bilateral coordination. She also has a strabismus in one eye, and difficulty with her eyes working together. She also has ADHD, so needs a safe way to bike so that she can put all of her energy on paying attention to cars or other dangers on the road. Isabel is almost 8, and has not yet been able to ride a tricycle or bike, but she wants to be like her friends, so she dearly wants to learn how.

Christopher

ChristopherMy son has cp and just recently had spinal fusion surgery he has always hoped to drive a car or ride a bike but never has been able to.he is 17 yrs old and loves to play baseball and go to the park just to get some air and watch other play, a bike for him would be awesome.

Ashley

Ashley 2Ashley has Rett Syndrome and is 16 years old. For months, I watched Ashley stare at the toddler size bikes during physical therapy. She would always look back at me and I would tell her sorry she was just too big. One time after overhearing me, Ashley’s Therapist said there might be one in the back. Sure enough, there was and from the minute we set her up in it and cruised around, her eyes lit up with happiness and a beaming smile from ear to ear. This is her favorite activity. Besides the obvious therapeutic health value, it makes her happier than I’ve seen in forever. It’s opened her up to a “tall” new world and given her freedom to move. If I had known what joy it brought, I would’ve found a way to get one years ago.

Larry

LarryThe whole family loves to ride bikes! I used to be able to put Larry in our little bike trailer and pull him behind me. Now he is too big for the trailer and the kid seat behind me. His two sisters have gone on to regular bikes. It is heart breaking to have to leave him behind or just not go riding at all because of it. His chromosome deletion leaves him at age 24 about the mental age of a three year old but his scoliosis leaves him too physically compromised to walk very far. A stable bike would enable him to do more outdoor activities with the family; right now we’re down to sitting on the grass and throwing a ball a couple times! His poor balance prevents him from even staying on a regular bike; there is no way he could hold on and pedal! It looks like the three-wheel design and handlebar would be perfect for him.

Victoria

VictoriaMy daughter has dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder. This affects her balance and coordination. She has learned to ride a big wheel in our yard and driveway. She is 7 now and quickly outgrowing the low to the ground options for tricycles. As she is physically growing, she is also maturing emotionally and beginning to desire play with older children, including her brother who is 8. It would be wonderful for her self esteem and also a tool to help her to interact with other children socially and at play. The Mobo Cruiser would be a safe option for Tori, and benefit her in several ways: activity with friends, playing with her brother, exercise to strengthen her, therapeutic for her coordination while being fun! Thank you for considering us for this bike.

Joshua

JoshuaJoshua’s 5th birthday is this month. We adopted him when he was a year old. He has many developmental delays and fine motor skill delays. He has been diagnosed as having FASD, ADHD, SPD, OCD, and we are still testing. He loves nothing more than to be outside riding on his scooter or red coupe. He is getting bigger and those things are not so exciting anymore. He would benefit from having an adaptive bike that he could actually ride and have the freedom and enjoyment that other children his age have. It help him to fell like part of the “typical” setting as well. He also has a smaller brother(whom we also adopted) with the same issues that could take it over once he has outgrown it.

Eathan

eathanMy son Eathan is so full of life. He enjoys being outside. Eathan has CP,seizure disorder,cyst on the brain,hydrocephalus with a vp shunt and is vision impaired. I want my son to be able to ride a bike that’s made for him. Without this contest I’d never be able to afford one. My son has had two brain surgries and just had surgery on his eyes. I see how excited he gets when he’s at school riding on the bikes they purchased for the school just for special needs children. He cried when his turn was up. And I promised I’d try everything I could to get him one. Eathan is such a happy child. He has brought so much joy to our lives. I know this bike would help him in more ways than I could ever explain. It could help build muscle tone in his legs and get him more active. Which is what his therapists has told us. This bike would change all of our lives. Just to see him smiling and laughing would mean the world to me.

Sierra

SierraSierra is 4 1/2 years old. She has Hemiplegia cerebral palsy from a stroke in-utero. Because the right side of Sierra’s body is affected by the stroke, it is difficult for her to keep her right foot in place and peddle. It is also difficult for her right hand to maintain a grip on the handle bar. Her core strength is also affected. She is very determined to be able to learn to ride bikes with her twin sister and five year old “big” sister. An adaptive tricycle would make this possible.

Annabella

AnnabellaAnnabella is a 5 1/2 year old little girl with Down Syndrome. She wants to do all of the things that her peers are doing but she lacks the coordination or strength to utilize a traditional bicycle. We are a single income family with four children and do not have the finances to provide such a bike for her. This particular bike would allow Annabella years of enjoyment. Thank you for considering Annabella.


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Lauren Lewis

Written on March 14, 2014 by:

Lauren Lewis began working at the Friendship Circle in May 2012 as the Communications and Event Coordinator. After participating in Dance Marathon at the University of Michigan and meeting some amazing kids with special needs, Lauren fell in love with the cause and never stopped advocating. When not at the Friendship Circle, she is wearing maize and blue and enjoying life in Detroit. You can connect with Lauren on LinkedIn.
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