Join Us In Celebration of 100 Years of Unstoppable Spirit & Care Learn More
donate icon DONATE

The Best Birthday Present

The Best Birthday Present

Bike riding can help patients with cerebral palsy increase muscle tone and keep up with their siblings. WIFR News 23 explains how 7-year-old Starlit received the perfect birthday gift...an adaptive bike provided through a program from our recreational therapy department. The Special Bikes for Special Kids program awarded 9 bikes this year to selected families who applied back in the Spring. Starlit's bicycle just happened to be delivered right in time for her birthday fun. Starlit has cerebral palsy and weakness on her right side which means she can't ride a traditional bicycle. But now she can enjoy riding with her friends and family! The adaptive bikes are customized by Project Mobility for each child's size and ability.
View Transcript

Speaker 1: Today, it's a seventh birthday that a Machesney Park girl will never forget. Young Starlit shined bright with her new birthday present, an adaptive bike.

Stephanie Hause...: Say, "Here I come!"

Starlit Hauser ...: Here I come!

Speaker 4: So cute. Starlet Hauser Thomas has cerebral palsy, who's always dreamed of riding a bike, but due to weakness on the right side of her body, she can't ride a traditional bike. But the nonprofit Special Bikes for Special Kids teamed up with the Chicago Shriners hospital to make Starlit's birthday wish come true. They worked with a bicycle supplier called Project Mobility, giving the Hauser family an adaptive bike free of charge.

Stephanie Hause...: It gives her a lot more independence to be able to move on her own, groove on her own, and ride on her own now, right? Right, Starlit?

Starlit Hauser ...: It is bright.

Stephanie Hause...: She's been looking forward to it for so long and this bicycle will really help for her to get her exercise and stretch her hamstrings, and just get back out there a little more often.

Speaker 1: Since the start of the Special Bikes Program in 2011, the Chicago Shriners hospital has purchased 71 adaptive bikes for patients like Starlit, costing more than $200,000. So sweet.

Speaker 4: Yeah, and Starlit did have to pick and choose her time to bike ride. She got some bike ride again today, but she couldn't do it all the time today because of the weather.