Pittsburgh-based program delivers bicycles to special needs kids


Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review

Daniel Sanner, 4, of Mt. Pleasant, smiles as his mother Martie walks him away from his new adaptive bike.

Local program, Variety and The Community Foundation, now operates in 45 cities worldwide

By Mary Pickels

Originally Published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Eight adaptive bikes, each bearing a big red bow and a placard with a child’s name, were parked at the front of a room in the Greensburg Garden & Civic Center Wednesday afternoon.

Within minutes, eight enthusiastic special needs children strapped on helmets, exchanged high fives and claimed their new wheels.

As they headed down a hallway and outside for a bike parade, many of them riding for the first time, family members and visitors burst into applause.

Haleigh Sabella, 14, of Latrobe wore a big grin as she dismounted.

“It was fun,” she said.

“It brought a tear to my eye,” said her mother, Melissa Sabella.

Haleigh has a rare genetic syndrome that causes seizures, her mother said. It’s not easy for her to participate in sports, but she understands that exercise is important.

After receiving a bike through Variety the Children’s Charity’s My Bike program, Haleigh can join her two siblings on bike rides.

Read full article on the Pittsburgh Tribune Review’s website

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 11.14.28 AMBikePGH’s Better Bikeways Vision stresses that Pittsburgh’s bike routes must be interconnected, safe, attractive, and comfortable in order to appeal to people of all ages, especially those who are interested in riding a bike but concerned for their safety. Learn more about BikePGH’s Better Bikeways Vision.

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