This experience was amazing. Not only for Jastiny but for me and my family. We always try to make Jastiny have a normal life and give her an opportunity to play with her brother and sisters. We go through so many tricycles and play cars. And none of them would help her due to her condition. And then we met with Freedom Concepts and Virginia and her family from Joey’s Friends Too and gave Jastiny this amazing opportunity to be part their family and let her have a chance to play along with her brother and sister. And we could thank you enough for everything that you did to make this happen for her.
God bless you.
Thank you so much for giving her the opportunity to be more included with peers and the ability to go biking again!!
Bella rode for most of the afternoon after it was dropped off. She is already determined to ride in the Manitoba Marathon – the Junior 5K part and says “I will race one day Mama!” LOL. She sits very nice in this bike and fits her quite well.
Thank you for this opportunity for her for physically, socially, and mentally.
I drove to Visalia yesterday to give my new friend, Andrew, his custom built Freedom Concepts bike. When I arrived, he wasn’t feeling too good, it was 106, and well honestly I didn’t blame him for hiding inside. But his Dad, Joseph, brought him outside and his Mom, Marianna, was waiting with me for the big unveiling. To our utter delight, he perked right up, gave a giggle and once loaded on and… all the safety straps secure, off he went. He loved it! And as soon as he was riding, he was making loops around the cul-de-sac, his siblings, neighbor kids and even his puppy were riding with him and running alongside to be with him and just take joy in a classic summertime event…….’kids riding their bikes around the neighborhood’. These custom adaptive bikes have such a value; therapeutically, developmentally and most importantly………socially. I thank our donors for allowing Andrew the chance to be a kid. There are more children like him, if you can help by making a donation then more kiddos like Andrew will become Freedom Riders this summer too! You can donate at www.varietync.org.org
Executive Director, Variety of Northern California
McKenzie fell in love with her bike the moment she saw it and truly loves it. It has given her a new found freedom! In the past we would have to force her to play outside and now we can’t get her in . For us, it has truly been a blessing in disguise, as it also helps McKenzie with her gross motor skills and Â she is making exceptional progress in physical therapy. We are eternally grateful for you and your company!
Caiden is a fun loving 5 1/2 year old who was born with Spina Bifida and a great personality. He loves to be outdoors and to do whatever any other kid his age does. From playing in the dirt and fishing to shooting hoops, playing baseball and riding a bike, he’s a go getter and doesn’t let his limitations slow him down! Due to his Spina Bifida, he has no feeling below his knees, a dislocated hip causing gait disturbances and balance deficits, decreased muscle tone and delayed gross motor skills, along with other medical needs. Caiden receives physical therapy twice a week where he has had opportunities to ride a Freedom Concepts bike. He loves it!! We are an active family and love to be outdoors and to go on bike rides. This bike will not only provide a form of therapy, but a sense of confidence and independence for him! Caiden has been asking for a bike of his very own for over a year…now he has one!!!! Thank you so much for being apart of him getting this bike!! We can’t wait to see him riding around this summer!!
Devyn has what’s called lissencephaly, meaning she was born with a smooth brain. She suffers from lots of seizures and is at about a 9 month to 1-yr-old level but she is really 12 years old. She does do way more than doctors ever thought she would and has learned to communicate in her own way. We are very blessed to have her! She is a sweet girl who is always in a good mood! Dev is very intrigued with what’s going on while she is on the bike. She is wheelchair bound and walks with a lot of assistance so she is still trying to figure out how her legs are going around on the bike. She is one determined little girl so we are hoping we will be able to get her to pedal on her own as the pedals go around so easily, but it will take some time. We believe the foot straps will help us with this because she does get the concept of lifting her legs to walk.
Reagan is super sweet and smiley (when she’s feeling well) and everyone LOVES her! She enjoys swinging, swimming, and being outside! She definitely seems to like riding the new bike and it’s so much easier to use than her previous AMBUCS one! (The rear steering is great)!! Thank you so much for your help in getting it! Now we’re looking into a Chill-Out Chair!
Freedom Concepts is grateful for the support of non-profit funders, all across North America, who help to get bikes to children who need them. From time to time though, we come across a true grassroots effort that is as inspiring as it is generous. This is a wonderful story that illustrates how one group of colleagues, all on their own, came together to change the world for one little boy and his dad!
Testimonial from Funder:
A few months prior to getting into contact with you, Clayton had sent an email to our department requesting us to vote for Hunter on a website to “Win” a Freedom Concepts Bike. I believe it was based on total votes received by a certain timeline. Of course Hunter did not win which created the instant response by my fellow colleagues, “He’s getting a bike”. I can’t say enough about the hearts of the people I work with. It is without a doubt the most positive aspect of my position. The group is a strong collection of mostly Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)s, Anesthesiologists, and supportive staff. We quickly organized to collect money and ensured that Clayton remained unaware of our intentions. Everyone did a great job of keeping the secret, and communicating through email void of his reception was a beneficial tool to use. We were able to keep communications of monies raised, monies still needed, and correspondence with your office. The interesting thing was, we initially thought the bike cost in the ball park of $2,000.00. As I contacted you and realized the cost was larger, I informed my department of the extra challenge. The response was immediate, “Let’s do another round of collection”. People just kept giving as we set our goal to the amount of $4,000.00. It is no surprise to me of the generosity of the people I work with. It was something everyone felt joy in doing.
As for the “why” of Clayton. The truth is, very few of us have ever met Hunter. Spending so much time at work in such a unique institution (Level 1 Trauma and Transplant Center), the opportunities for interacting with your colleague’s family is very limited. That being said, your colleagues themselves are treated as your second family, and we have always kept that part of our culture here. Clayton has the highest adoration and respect of many in our department. He brings to his patients a true sense of selflessness and empathy. He is a Father of a special needs child, and expresses joy, love, and respect for his Son Hunter.
We know it must not be easy. We as Parents understand the challenges of everyday life in Parenting on the most basic level. To see Clayton walk strong as a Man in Faith, and Fatherhood is a true blessing of inspiration to us all. He deserved our respect and the response to filling the need of something so basic for his Son was testimony to him.
As for the “why” of Hunter. Purely simple, a boy needs a bike. Every person remembers their childhood bike. The freedom, adventure, and joy of feeling alive follows the pursuit of something within us. It is a desire innate to all persons, and Hunter is a boy who deserves that experience.
I wanted to thank you for the support and role you played in our mission. It has brought a lot of people together for something wonderful. It has also brought to our attention, the “need’ and “expense” of certain equipments regarding special needs. Although many of the equipments are taken for granted when one sees for example, a wheelchair, Scooter, bike, etc, many do not appreciate the significant cost this creates for a Family. It was a blessing to be a part of supporting this effort, and your office has our utmost respect and thanks.
Testimonial from Father:
Hunter has been on his bike every day I’ve had it As you know, hunter doesn’t talk. When I take him outside, he goes straight to the garage door and waits for me to open it so I can get it out for him. He truly does enjoy his bike and if it wasn’t for the bikes you make, Hunter may not have gotten to experience that joy.
We have been looking for a long time for a comfortable chair for our son. We could never find anything deep enough for him to sit in without him slipping out. The Chill-Out Chair was recommended by one of his new therapists and we love it! Itâ€™s the first chair that we have found that supports him properly and allows him to sit up and join in with family activities. We also love the fact that it is offered with wheels so that we can push the chair around the house instead of having to pick him up and move him. We would definitely recommend this chair for other special needs families!
-Christina, Caleb’s mother
We just got the bike an hour ago and Andy already tried it. He LOVED it!! We actually have a small incline on the street so he was able to do it himself. It was the most amazing moment when he looked over and realized he was the one biking. He was so happy!! We canâ€™t thank you enough!!
You have made such a huge difference in his life. We are just so grateful to you and to the foundation* for this amazing gift.
So I have attached a couple of pictures. I think you will be able to see just how happy he is on the bike. .
Thank you so much!!
*The Ethan Henry Lecours Foundation generously funded Andy’s adaptive tricycle.