Veteran’s group donates adaptive bikes to children with special needs

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RICHMOND, Va. – Sixteen kids went home with a brand new adaptive bicycle thanks to the non-profit REACHcycles, which held their Christmas bike giveaway Sunday.

Family members said they were overwhelmed, overjoyed and grateful by the organization's generosity.

(Photo: WTVR)

(Photo: WTVR)

Anlon Webb loves being on the move. The two-year-old was born with a rare chromosomal abnormality that has delayed some of his development and movements. But his parents said the new adaptive bike he got could help change that.

"Helping him on his reciprocal movements by being able to pedal and learn how to move with the bike. Hopefully that will help him develop into other activities as well…like walking and everything else,” said his mom, Katie Webb.

US Army veteran James Howard started the non-profit that delivers specially adaptive tricycles to children living with disabilities. He was profiled by CBS 6’s Greg McQuade on “Heroes Among Us.

"They come with lots of different parts. You can operate them with your hands, your legs. Thre are lots of different adaptions for every disability of disorder,” Howard said.

Howard knows first-hand the impact these bikes can have. The Iraq war veteran was paralyzed and became a quadriplegic in a swimming accident eight years ago.

“Physically and mentally it really brought me forward in my progress with my disability,” Howard said.

In two years, the all-volunteer organization has given out 140 bikes.

Nyasia Wynn was there getting her first bike ever.

"Nyasia has cerebral palsy. She uses the bike in therapy and she just absolutely loves it,” said April Wynn, Nyasia's mother.

"It really puts life in perspective, you know? When you see a child get a bike, and seeing that child smile receiving a first-time bike when they've been told they'd never ride a bike,” Howard said.

Each bike costs between $400 to $1,200.

Organizers say this is all possible thanks to donations and volunteers. If you're interested in getting involved or donating, check out the REACHcycles website.