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Variety The Children's Charity Gives Out 5,000th Piece Of Adaptive Equipment

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A huge milestone Wednesday in helping local kids just be kids.

Variety the Children's Charity gave out its 5,000th piece of adaptive equipment to a local child with special needs.

Rylie Jenkins from Sewickley got a pink bike for her 11th birthday. She and local leaders rode in a parade inside PNC Park on Wednesday. Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Highmark's Deb Rice-Johnson, PNC's Andrea Carelli and the Pirates' Travis Williams were included in the celebration.

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These adaptive bikes and strollers give kids the freedom to ride, play and experience life like other kids.

"It means I can do what other kids can do, and I'm proving to myself that I can do it," Jenkins said.

Charles LaVallee, CEO of Variety the Children's Charity, said, "They get to fit in, not feel left out anymore, which if we think about it, isn't that feeling of being included and belonging critical? So it is life-changing."

Variety also gives out adaptive speaking devices for kids who have challenges speaking. KDKA's Kristine Sorensen did a story about Tyler Winfield from Westmoreland County. Winfield has autism and was non-verbal. He got one, and a year later when KDKA's Kristine Sorensen returned to see how he was using the device, he learned to speak on his own.

If you know someone who would like an adaptive bike, stroller or speaking device, Variety is seeking kids for these free devices. Click here for more.

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