Children With Disabilities Receive New Adaptive Bicycles & Strollers
More than a dozen children get a special gift Tuesday, helping them to have fun, despite their disability.
Variety – The Children’s Charity donated more than $25,000 dollars worth of adaptive equipment to 16 kids from Northwest Pennsylvania, many from our area.
They included bikes, strollers, and communication devices.
Tuesday afternoon, the kids rolled around the halls of Saint Vincent Hospital, on their new wheels.
Gabrielle Laufer was one of them. She was diagnosed with cancer last year, and chemo medication has kept her from doing many of the fun things she loves, like riding a bike, “Her whole world just immediately came to a stop, so she has spent the past 11 months in and out of the hospital treatments and just going through more than any child ever should,” said Carmen Laufer, Gabrielle’s Mother. "She can't go to Waldameer, she can't swim in Lake Erie, she can't play any sports, she can't ride a normal bike... so this particular bike has been able to help her enjoy her world again," Carmen continued.
“I've been wanting this for a couple months now,” Gabrielle said. “I've experienced a lot, and I can't even balance on my regular bike so this means a lot that I can have a bike that I can actually balance on,” Gabrielle said as she peddled her new adaptive bicycle.
Since the non-profit’s inception in 2012, Variety has given away more than 2,500 pieces of adaptive equipment to children with disabilities. Variety’s CEO Charles LaVallee says it’s just as rewarding for him, “What I've learned that I didn't expect, is that their joy has changed my life,” said LaVallee. “Seeing the kids today, their joy, I think we're doing it for them, but what I've learned is their joy changes all of us, to see how happy they are over a bike, sometimes the things we take for granted is transformative for them, and they change us,” LaVallee said.
To learn more about Variety – The Children’s Charity; to help the non-profit or to see if your child is eligible, visit their website here.