HARRISBURG, Pa. — Six kids from South Central Pennsylvania were the recipients of custom-made adaptive bicycles on Thursday afternoon.
Variety's "My Bike Program" gave away new adaptive bikes and strollers to children with disabilities.
These adaptive bikes are the first time many of their kids have been on a bike, families say.
One mom says the new mobility equipment provides her daughter, Ashtyn, with newfound freedom.
"It just means everything to me that she is able to be included and ride a bike, and this is just something that we've been waiting for for a while," Michelle Gutshall said.
Balance, steering, and safety are just some of the physical limitations that regular bikes have. The adaptive version allows disabled children to experience the fundamental milestone of learning to ride a bike, the organization says.
"Ashtyn has always wanted to ride a bike with her brother, but was never able to get the hang of it with balancing," Gutshall added in a press release. "Having an adaptive bike for Ashtyn will give her the chance to ride with her brother and friends."
The program launched in Nov. 2012, and since then, over 5,300 adaptive bikes, adaptive strollers, and communication devices have been presented to eligible kids throughout Variety's service area in Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia.
To be eligible for the "My Bike Program," families must have a child with a documented mental, physical, or sensory disability, meet their income guidelines, and live in one of their 71 applicable counties.