Variety’s ‘My Bike’ program gives kids with disabilities the chance to ride bikes

Learning to ride a bike is something many of us do growing up, but it’s not the same for all children, especially those with disabilities.

But thanks to some local groups, these kids now have the opportunity to ride safely and reach that milestone.

Local children with disabilities received custom adapted bikes in Edinboro, ending with a parade and celebration.

Variety’s “My Bike” program provides life-changing opportunities for children with special needs by offering custom bikes tailored to those needs.

Organizers also said the gear helps give the family hope for the future.

A member of the Variety team told us how people react to receiving the bikes.

“You see a lot of joy and you see a lot of tears because they’re overwhelmed. Many of these parents, some of whom didn’t even know if their child would be able to walk at a young age, may have been told that ‘they wouldn’t be mobile at all,” said program manager Deanna David. “So having that opportunity, it can be a really extremely happy experience for the whole family.”

Variety offers other programs involving unmet needs, such as their “My Stroller” program, which provides adapted strollers, and the “My Voice” program, which provides communication devices.

One family we spoke to was thrilled that their child could ride a bike with his siblings. Providing something as simple as a bicycle can do wonders for a child’s social life and home life.

“We had trouble with him on a standard bike, even with training wheels, so we’re excited to have him participate in something where he can hang out with his siblings,” said Rich Harper, the Aiden’s father.

“It makes me so happy that he is finally able to ride a bike and be independent,” said Saida Harper, Aiden’s mother.

If you know of a child in need who could benefit from this program, you can apply by visiting Variety’s online program application.

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