Do you remember the day you learned to ride a bike? Freedom! The wind in your hair meant independence and brought pure joy.
Sadly, many children with special needs miss out because they can't ride a regular bike. But, a unique "contest" of sorts is raising money to award adaptive bikes to kids with special needs.
The Great Bike Giveaway gives these children the same feeling you had when you saw your first shiny new bike.
We met Aurora and her family out in Hillsborough. She's a 13-year-old girl who is full of life and love. Aurora has Down syndrome. When she was 5, she started crawling on the floor because her legs hurt so bad, but she couldn't tell her parents what was wrong. That's when she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Exercise is the best thing for Aurora, and she loves to be outside. A bike would be wonderful for her knees and to keep her body moving. However, she can't balance herself on a regular bike.
Aurora got the chance to try riding an adaptive bike, and she squealed with delight!
Here's the problem- adaptive bikes cost more than $1,000. The one Aurora needs costs $1,300.
But there is something we can do to help Aurora! The Great Bike Giveaway raises money for these adaptive bikes. There are 600 children with special needs in the contest this year. There are different types of adaptive bikes, and parents put their kids in the category right for them.
Within each category, the child with the most votes wins a bike. You can also donate money, though. The more money raised, the more bikes can be given away.
Aurora isn't the only sweetheart around here who could get a special bike. Seven children around the Triangle are in this year's contest. And like Aurora, they have tried to win before- but they didn't get enough votes.
The contest runs through March 30. You can vote once for each child. You can also share our story on social media to try to gain more votes, or you can donate money to the cause. Potentially, all 600 children could win a bike. It's up to us.
Vote for all of the Triangle children who need an adaptive bike: