Charity Provides Adaptive Equipment That Changes Lives of Local Kids

Alejandro “Alex” Sudik, 8, of Drifting (Photo by GANT News Editor Jessica Shirey)

CLEARFIELD – On Wednesday, Variety – the Children’s Charity – teamed up with the Clearfield County Commissioners to present four adaptive bikes, one adaptive stroller and two communication devices to local kids with disabilities

The Pittsburgh-based charity provided $11,100 worth of “life-changing” equipment to the kids and their families, according to Charlie LaVallee, Variety chief executive/excitement officer. The equipment is tailored to each kid’s specific needs.

Alejandro “Alex” Sudik, 8, of Drifting received his new, lime green adaptive bike, and his mom, Nadia Sudik, described how much it means to him. “Alex recently tried an adaptive bike at school during PT and his words were, ‘I was born to do this,’” Nadia shared.

Since he has difficulties with his motor skills and balance, he cannot safely ride a regular bike. The bike can help improve his circulation, increase his leg strength and range of motion and improve his endurance and balance.

Nadia continued, “We have had difficulty getting Alex to engage in physical activities, and we feel this is a wonderful opportunity to get him outside and to exercise. We also feel it will have a positive effect – mentally.

“The adaptive bike will help Alex reach a milestone and help him feel a little bit better about himself. It will also give him an opportunity to play with his peers. And we will have a very happy boy.”

“We want to make a big push … to find every single eligible child who could benefit from an adaptive bike, adaptive stroller and or communication device of their own,” added LaVallee. Families can apply to one, two or all three of Variety’s programs.

  • Variety’s My Bike® Program, which currently provides Rifton adaptive bikes to eligible kids to give them freedom, joy and belonging created through a bike;
  • Variety’s My Stroller® Program, which currently provides Kid Kart Might Lite adaptive strollers to eligible kids to give them “on-the-go” mobility to easily participate in activities in the community; and
  • Variety’s My Voice® Program, which provides communication devices (currently an iPad with a prescribed communication app) to eligible kids to give them a voice at all times.

Interested families can visit www.varietypittsburgh.org/applynow to learn more/apply or call the Variety office directly at 724-933-0460.

Background

Variety launched its My Bike® Program in November of 2012 to impact kids’ lives and to build a movement within the community.

From the success of the My Bike® Program, Variety created two other adaptive equipment programs, the My Stroller® Program that provides adaptive strollers to kids for increased mobility, and My Voice® Program that provides a communication device to give children a voice at all times.

Since November of 2012, nearly 3,000 adaptive bikes, adaptive strollers and communication devices have been sponsored for eligible kids throughout Variety’s 65-county service area in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, which is more than $4.8 million worth of adaptive equipment.

For more information on Variety, please visit www.varietypittsburgh.org.

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