WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — This is Titus Wetzel's first-ever bike ride. He is one of several children in central Pennsylvania who recently received a brand-new adaptive bike.
"It is very exciting. He is definitely going to enjoy this new freedom that he hasn't experienced before, and it is going to be something the whole family can enjoy with him," said Titus' mom Anna Wetzel.
The nonprofit organizations, Variety and BLaST, partnered up to provide modified bikes and strollers to kids with special needs in Lycoming County. All the adaptive bikes and strollers have been customized to the liking of the child.
"We have so many children who are so happy because they are now learning and getting to experience the freedom, joy, and belonging of having their mobility equipment to help them get around so they can be just like every other kid," said Patti Ferraro of Variety Pittsburgh.
"The process has been simple, and it was completely free for us," said Wetzel.
Back in September, Arabella DeClerck got an adaptive bike through Variety. Now her family is back to pick up a stroller for their daughter, who suffers from Charcot-Marie-Tooth, which affects the nerves and muscles in her arms and legs.
"I'm disabled, and her father and I couldn't pick her up and carry her, so she might not realize what it means, but it means the world to me to have some assistance there when it is especially just me and her," said Arabella's dad Douglas DeClerck.
Families tell Newswatch 16 that it is refreshing to see their children smile because of this equipment.
"It makes me feel so grateful. I thank God every day that this little girl has these opportunities. If it wasn't for the Variety group and the donors, we would be struggling, and she would be struggling physically and mentally," said DeClerck.