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Variety Helps Special Needs Children Ride In Labor Day Parade

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Thousands spent part of their Labor Day morning watching parade wind its way through downtown Pittsburgh.

This year, a little boy named Brian, who had the left side of his brain removed before his first birthday, got to ride through town.

For many people, marching bands are a big part of a parade. They love to see and hear them walk through town.

For one group of parents, it's all about their kids gaining independence.

"We were told he may not walk. He may not talk. We didn't know the extent of -- well we knew he had a severe disability, but we didn't know if he would recover. So, this is huge and honestly, and until a year ago when we got in touch with Variety, we didn't think he would ever ride a bike," Brian's mother, Angela Wach, said.

Thanks to Variety, the Children's Charity, Brian not only rides his adaptive bike, but he rode in in the Labor Day Parade.

"We used to throw Brian and Nathan here in the back in one of those little trailers and ride around. They were cramped back there and they would say turn here, turn there. Now, he turns where he wants," Brian's father, Tony, said.

Brian was one of seven kids riding in the parade with Variety. He claims he tops 100 miles per hour with his pedal power, but he slowed down long enough to tell KDKA-TV's Rick Dayton what he likes best about his bike.

"No flat tires whatsoever," Brian said.

While others marched off the miles, Brian's sister, Makayla, was happy her brother could ride like other kids.

"When he was in the trailer where dad was pulling him, he was just watching me riding my bike and he would always say, 'I'm going to beat you.' So now he can actually race and do stuff while we are on our bikes," she said.

"Something that always used to bring sorrow. When we used to go out on bikes as a family, it's fun, but there was always that element of sorrow because our son wasn't able to do what the rest of us are," Angela said.

"It feels like that me and my family are the same and I really like riding my bike. So, having a bike is really fun," Brian said.

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