Special needs kids gifted with adaptive bikes

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Elyssa Morataya
Published: Updated:

Who said fun couldn’t be available to everyone? Children with special needs are getting new adaptive bikes thanks to charity.

Kyler and his big sister Kalina are close.

“She always wants to do things with him,” said Natalie Schmidt, Kalina and Kyler’s mom. “She’ll ask, ‘Why can’t my brother do this? And why can’t he play with me?'”

“We are always together,” said Kalina.

Kyler lives with Hemimegalencephaly, meaning half his brain didn’t form properly and he deals with weakness on the left side of his body.

“Because of his limitations, he’s not able to walk or crawl,” said Schmidt.

On Wednesday, Kyler received the wheels to ensure he can keep up with Kalina. Thanks to his friends at Robbie’s Riders, Grampy’s Charities, and Sanibel Captiva Community Bank.

“It gives them physical therapy, helps them build their muscles. Gives them most importantly to play like kids to take off with the other kids,” said Jack Johannemann, Vice President of Robbie’s Riders.

Seven southwest Florida children were gifted with adaptive bikes and tricycles on Wednesday.

Each one was fitted to accommodate their various special needs.

Johannemann says every kid deserves the feeling of riding a bike, something so many of us take for granted.

“Think about yourself when you got your first bike and you felt like you were flying. The only way these children get this is with these adaptive bicycles,” said Johannemann. “It’s important that these kids get this.”

Kids like Kyler are now getting to feel the wind on their faces.

“Especially for having delays and he’s nonverbal,” said Schmidt. “He was actually really excited to get on his bike.”

It seems his big sister is just as excited.

“I love to ride a bike with my brother because it makes me happy and I always want to,” said Kalina.

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