May 14, 2014 7:36 am

Specialized bike helps children with disabilities learn how to ride

WINNIPEG — Learning to ride a bike is a rite of passage for most kids, but for seven-year-old Arabella Keam, it is not so simple.

The Grade 2 student was born with cerebral palsy and struggles to walk, let alone ride a bike.

“When I was born, this leg got taller and this one stays little, and now I have to walk on my tippy toes,” said Arabella.

Half of her body is weak and her balance is off.

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“Just after she turned six, she started to notice she was different and noticed she doesn’t do all the things other kids can do,” said Trevor Keam, Arabella’s dad.

Thanks to a modified bike on loan from the Rehabilitation Centre for Children, Arabella is mastering how to ride a bike.

It has been a part of her physiotherapy at her school for only a few weeks and already it is making an impact.

“Sometimes I feel like my training wheels are slowing me down and now I don’t have any training wheels and I can be with my friends,” said Arabella.

She is also helping raise money for the Children’s Rehab Foundation’s 18th annual Cruisin’ Down the Crescent on June 8.

“I am raising money to say thanks,” said Arabella, who was inspired to help out after seeing a commercial for the event on Global Winnipeg.

She has asked her school to help raise funds and the kindergarten class at Sherwood School has already planned a bake sale.

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