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Four Muscatine County kids with disabilities get customized bicycles

Published: May. 2, 2021 at 4:58 PM CDT
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MUSCATINE, Iowa (KWQC) - Four Muscatine kids with disabilities received adaptive bicycles built exactly for their needs. One of them for Ryker Colon, a little boy with an undiagnosed disability causing weak muscles.

“He’s wanted a bike forever and we tried finding bikes for him, but nothing seemed to work,” says Eddie Colon, Ryker’s father.

Ryker’s teacher, Callie Pangburn, noticed the call for help.

“I saw his dad post on Facebook asking if anybody had a balance bike for him to try out because he really wanted a bike to be like his brother. So, I saw that it didn’t work. Someone had given them one to try out and his dad said he just can’t do it,” says Pangburn.

Ryker’s teacher then contacted the Muscatine AEA, who connected the family with the Muscatine Pilot Club and Mississippi Bend Trykes, an organization that builds adaptive bikes for people with disabilities.

“The hardest thing sometimes for kids with disabilities is the ability to play. It’s kind of a rite of passage for kids to ride a bike, and so I’m very excited for these kids and their families because now they have the ability to put the disability aside to just be a kid,” says Catherine Hahn, a physical therapist at the Mississippi Bend AEA.

Ryker and three other kids were surprised with their own bike, fit just for them.

“I was crying. It’s exciting because you’re not just giving Ryker a bike, you’re giving him some freedom. You’re giving him a hobby, you’re giving him something that’s his, and something that he can do. With children with mobility issues, it’s really hard to find something that makes them feel like it’s their own and that they have the ownership of and that they can do independently,” says Pangburn.

“It’s amazing. I cried when I came in. Right now I think he’s just overwhelmed like he doesn’t know really what to think but he is very excited. His brother has a bike so he’ll be just like a normal kid now and he’ll be able to ride so it’ll be nice for him to get out there and get a little bit more independence,” says Colon.

Ryker’s father says now with a bicycle fit just for him, they’re looking forward to family bike rides along the Muscatine riverfront.

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