My Story: by Kristy Mickelsen (event director)
Isaac is a very happy boy. He is observant, caring, and fun. His contagious personality reminds us, his family and friends, everyday what is really important in life…
Coming into our lives 3 months early with his twin sister and born with Spina Bifida, his quality of life seemed bleak. For first time parents we instantly worried about his future. Those dreams of a normal childhood seemed so far away. But with persistence, a lot of love from family and friends, skilled physicians at Primary Childrens’ Medical Center and Shriners Hospital, and wonderful therapists the past 7 1/2 years has been very positive. We have since adapted our dreams and have made new ones…dreams and goals that we never would have made with out caring for a family member with special needs. We have learned how to serve and how to re-define “normal.” Discouragement is inevitable, but gratitude and joy overcomes.
Those that have sat in the waiting room at a childrens’ hospital know that it is a special place. Parents can relate to one another. They share a common feeling- a wish that they could take away the trials that their children are faced with. Four years ago, we were waiting in the foyer of Shriners Hospital. I saw a little boy riding an adaptable bicycle. He had a smile on his face and I was instantly thinking…that would be great for Isaac and could he do that? I inquired about the bicycle and the staff explained that Shriners has a bike program for their patients, but the waiting list period is around 2 years.
After researching more about the adaptable bicycles, I learned that the bikes cost anywhere from $400.00 to $1600.00, which was discouraging. One of Isaac’s therapists told me about a family support program that can helped supply different equipment and/or services for special needs children. The Children with Disabilities Foundation is a non-profit organization that is supported by a group of kind-hearted volunteers. After becoming involved with these volunteers, we discussed ways to help kids, like Isaac, obtain adaptable bicycles.
The Bike for Kids Idaho event was formed for many reasons. The primary reason being, to raise money to help distribute adaptable bicycles to these wonderful kids. We also wanted to invite our community and families to come together for a great cause and enjoy a childhood milestone of learning to ride a bicycle.
With the help of our great sponsors and our participants, The Bike for Kids Idaho event has helped 11 children receive adaptable bicycles. It has been great to see the children’s excitement. Their families are very grateful for your generosity. These kids no longer need to sit on the grass and watch their friends and family ride their bicycles, nor are they placed in ill-fitting trailers behind their parents. Like JoJo’s mom explained, it is a level of freedom and independence that they have not experienced before.
We hope that the Bike for Kids Idaho event will continue to be successful. Please come Take the Ride and Help give a Bike!