Julie describes her son Cristian as a happy 12-year-old boy who loves to laugh, go swimming, go to the beach, and play with his toys.
Cristian has Kabuki syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that only affects one in every 32,000 people. The symptoms of Kabuki syndrome can be similar to those of Autism and have affected Cristian physically and mentally.
“He’s made huge strides from what the doctors originally expected of him,” Julie said.
Cristian didn’t sit up on his own until he was two and a half years old and didn’t crawl until he was four. Now, Cristian can take a few steps but needs someone to support him and make sure he doesn’t fall.
Cristian first tried a Freedom Concepts adaptive bike when he was a toddler and received a DCP Mini from a family who was no longer using it.
“It was so tiny it could fit in my Mini Cooper,” Julie said. “It was so cute.”
After Cristian was done with the bike, Julie gave it to another family. Cristian didn’t use another adaptive bike from Freedom Concepts until his physical therapist brought one to their house for him to try a couple of years ago.
“He ended up loving it and we knew it was something we needed at home,” Julie said.
Julie said their family was going to try to get a bike through a funding source, but when they heard it could take a long time to get approved, they decided to try crowdfunding. They ended up raising the money they needed for the bike within a few hours.
“It was amazing,” Julie said. “Cristian has a lot of supporters.”
Cristian received his AS2000 last summer.
“The bike has been fantastic, he really loves it,” Julie said. “It’s been great for him.”
Cristian does physical therapy, aquatic physical therapy, as well as occupational therapy weekly, and Julie said Cristian’s adaptive bike has been another great source of physical therapy for him.
Their family has two chihuahuas they like to take for walks, but Julie said they can’t keep up during Cristian’s longer rides. To bring them along for the ride, they’ll put the dogs in a basket on the back of the bike.
Julie recommends the jogging handle to families who are considering adding the Rear Steer feature to their adaptive bike.
“We got it as an add-on afterwards,” Julie said. “It makes the bike so much easier to push, especially if you’re going up lots of hills or if you’ll be doing a lot of pushing and steering for your child. “
Click here to learn more about Freedom Concepts adaptive bikes.