We’ve all heard the saying, "it's as easy as riding a bike," but it's not so easy for kids with disabilities.
Riding a bicycle can be an important rite of passage for children. It gives them a sense of independence and freedom while exercising.
7-year-old, Tristan Young of LaFayette enjoys playing out doors, swimming, dancing and even rapping, but Tristan also faces many challenges. He was born with Spina Bifida, a condition that limits his mobility, but not his spirit.
Before Tristan was born, doctors told his Mother Teresa Santonastaso that he could be in the hospital for several month, but Tristan defied those expectations and was healthy enough to come home in just two week. Santonastaso describes her son as a fighter to this day.
Santonastaso said Tristan has dreamed of getting a bike for a long time, but the cost of a custom bike was not feasible for their family.
A small shop in Lafayette would make that wish a reality.
"We think we need to start trying to make a difference in these small kids’ lives and let them have something like this," Talespinners Outdoors Owner Terry Tucker said.
The community helped raise nearly $2,000 to buy a customized bike that allows Tristan to control the bike using just his hands. The family said the day Tristan got his new bike it changed their lives forever.
“The world we live in today, you kind of lose faith in people and little things like this show you that there are still people caring about people,” Santonastaso said.
It's a big moment when a kid gets their first bicycle. In Tristan’s life it means a lot more, it symbolizes the chance to stay balanced and keep moving forward.