Catasauqua Press

Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Press file photoJace Reed takes the first ride on a new handicap-accessible swing Aug. 5, 2019, at North Catasauqua William J. Albert Memorial Park, 701 Grove St. His grandmother is now aiming to win Jace an adaptive tricycle through Friendship Circle’s Great Bike Giveaway. Press file photoJace Reed takes the first ride on a new handicap-accessible swing Aug. 5, 2019, at North Catasauqua William J. Albert Memorial Park, 701 Grove St. His grandmother is now aiming to win Jace an adaptive tricycle through Friendship Circle’s Great Bike Giveaway.

Catasauqua woman seeks adaptive bike for grandson

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 by Samantha Anderson sanderson@tnonline.com in Local News

Many people have fond memories of riding bicycles as children and the feeling of freedom that goes with it. For some, this is not an option. Children with special needs are often denied this simple childhood pleasure due to their extra needs and the high cost of adaptive bikes.

Friendship Circle’s Great Bike Giveaway is seeking to change that for some, and a Catasauqua woman is aiming to help her grandson get a bike to ride around town.

Dena Reed is seeking to win an adaptive tricycle for her grandson, Jace, who suffers from cerebral palsy, cortical visual impairment, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and left-sided hemiparesis after a car accident when he was 6 months old.

The Great Bike Giveaway is a platform where people can raise funds for adaptive bikes at a discounted price. Friendship Circle works with adaptive bike companies from around the world to provide adaptive bikes for children and teens with special needs.

According to its website, the Great Bike Giveaway has raised more than $1 million and provided more than 1,000 adaptive bikes for children and teens with special needs over the past six years. The website notes bike riding provides children with necessary exercise, has therapeutic value and offers an inclusive environment for children to ride a bike like everyone else.

The Great Bike Giveaway provides three ways a child can receive a bike. Registrants can ask for donations and raise the funds needed to purchase the bike. Due to the partnership with Friendship Circle, many bike companies offer discounted bikes through this event.

Any registrant who receives 50 votes or more will be entered into a random drawing for the bike they are interested in winning.

The final option is for the registrant with the most votes. This person will win a free bike of their choosing.

According to Reed, Jace is an active child and loves playing outside. She said he enjoys swimming, therapeutic horseback riding, amusement rides and other fun childhood activities.

On Aug. 5, 2019, Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce presented North Catasauqua Borough a $500 check to go toward the cost of the new handicap-accessible swing, which was part of a park improvement effort funded by North Catasauqua Recreation Committee and Northampton County

Jace was the first child to enjoy the accessible swing, which was installed at North Catasauqua William J. Albert Memorial Park, 701 Grove St.

“Jace has made tons of strides through therapy and persistence. I think bike riding will help him continue to improve his skills,” she said.

She is aiming to either win with the most votes or fundraise the whole amount for a Rifton adaptive tricycle. These bikes provide reciprocal exercise with all the fun of riding. This therapeutic tricycle can be adjusted as a child grows without the use of tools.

As of press time, $1,275 out of $1,850 was raised for Jace’s tricycle.

Voting ends March 4. You may donate funds until March 25. To donate or vote for Jace, go to greatbikegiveaway.com/JaceReed.

Friendship Circle is a nonprofit organization that provides programs and support to the families of individuals with special needs. Learn more at friendshipcircle.org.