Like other kids her age, 11-year-old Rebecca Hildebrand loves riding her bike.
“It’s fun to ride,” said Rebecca.
Rebecca’s bike is special. She has Spina Bifida.
Variety – the Children’s Charity – donated special bikes, a stroller and a communication device to Rebecca and four other special kids.
“Her legs just don’t have much strength to them,” said Chip Hildebrand, Rebecca’s father.
The adaptive bicycle helps her get around while strengthening her muscles.
“When Rebecca was born, they said she’d never walk and she’d never talk. Now, we’ve worked on it for 11 years. We’ve been patient. We feel like this is maybe the last piece of the puzzle that will get her up on her feet without a lot of adaptive devices,” said Cathy Hildebrand, Rebecca’s mother.
Friday morning, Variety also launched the No Child Without a Voice campaign to spread the word about the three adaptive equipment programs.
“A lot of people see them as special needs, we see them as special kids. They can accomplish anything as long as they’re given the ability and the tools to do that,” said Mickey Sgro, a Variety board member.
Sgro is also the regional director of AFSCME District Council 83, a labor union that donated $8,100 for the kids’ equipment.
Rebecca’s parents said the bike will help her grow stronger and have fun with family and friends.
“She will definitely gain from it. And it’s really cool,” said Chip.
Variety employees plan to reach out to school districts in the region to find more families in need and encourage them to apply to the program.
You can learn how to apply by visiting Variety’s website: www.varietypittsburgh.org.
You can also call their office: 724-933-0460.