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Stories of Courage

Biking with Claire

Biking is a right of passage for Kids. Learning to ride a bike is a skill mastered by most 5 or 6-year-old children. But, when you have limited mobility—like Claire—it becomes a lot more challenging.

Claire Alexander is a 12-year old girl from Sussex, New Brunswick and attends Sussex Middle School. Claire is diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy which most often affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance with limited ability to control arm and leg movements. Claire is often dependent on others for her transportation needs.

Claire Alexander and Mom
Claire Alexander and Mom

In the spring of 2016 Claire received an adapted Freedom Concept Bike which was a donation to her family. Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation (SCCR) therapists helped adapt the bike so that if fit Claire. Adapted bicycles help more involved kids experience biking in a supported manner. Seats with lateral and head supports, chest and hip prompts, as well as ankle straps help kids maintain positioning on a bike. 

Upon receiving her bike, Claire was unable to turn the pedals a full revolution on her own. Unflustered, she worked with her family, her local school and therapy teams, and the team at the SCCR, to reach her goal of learning to self propel her tricycle. With Claire’s enthusiasm, persistency and determination, she continued to improve and by mid June 2016 she could bike—and move through successive pedal revolutions independently. Since that time, Claire moves her bike on her own, with a caregiver helping to guide her steering and loves it. She quickly outgrew her first bike and received a new Freedom Concept Bike in 2017 through the SCCR foundation Bikes 'n' Trikes program. Claire loves being able to fully participate in neighbourhood outings and community life with friends and family. She continues to use her bicycle daily at school, and is looking forward to using it as a means of transportation to and from school like the other kids in her. Way to go Claire!

These bikes come at a cost of ~ $3,000 per bicycle. The Stan Cassidy Foundations works with donors to provide adapted bicycles for kids like Claire to become fully engaged in their environment, build their muscles and self-esteem at the same time. Contact us today to find out how you can support one of our many direct patient care funds.