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Kids With Disabilities Get Adaptive Bikes

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - One local organization is improving the lives of children with disabilities. Variety the Children's Charity and Covestro presented adaptive bikes to children in Allegheny County Monday.

"I've been wanting this bike forever because this means I can hang out with my friends and ride bikes with them," said 12-year-old Loralei Foriska.

She has spina bifida and walks with crutches and uses a wheelchair, but she doesn't let her disability discourage her. Instead, she pedals forward.

"It makes me feel very happy that she feels included. She gets to be like one of the kids on the street. She's not segregated off to the side," said her mother Jenny Foriska.

Loralei is one of 14 kids who received an adaptive bike from Variety the Children's Charity Monday. The organization provides adaptive equipment to children with disabilities so they can live life to the fullest. Six kids will also get strollers and three will be fitted for equipment, too.

"You just find the right bike with a therapist that keeps them safe and enables them to ride, then they have the same joy and pride in themselves as any typical child," said Variety CEO Charlie LaVallee.

LaVallee says the organization serves 71 counties in Pennsylvania and Virginia, giving away thousands of life-changing equipment. They presented more than 1,400 during the pandemic alone.

"I hope Loralei and others take away the pride in themselves, that they could do something they didn't dream was possible and that they can be helpers and spread the word and get other kids these bikes," said LaVallee.

And he hopes they can feel a sense of belonging and bravery. Loralei already does.

"She kind of does it all. She's kind of unstoppable," said her mother.

She's unwilling to put on the brakes in a world full of opportunities.

By the end of Monday, Variety will have given more than 4,600 adaptive bikes, strollers and communication devices to children with disabilities since 2012.

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