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Variety Commemorates The United Nation's
International Day of Persons with Disabilities

United Nations Enable LogoOn Saturday, December 3, a coordinated, nationwide effort will be held by Variety Tents across the country to celebrate the UN’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life. This year’s theme is: “Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development.

The following recipients are just a few of the children and organizations who have been chosen by their local Variety Tent to receivespecial needs equipment. These gifts will not only increase the children's independence, mobility and strength, but will also help to integrate them as an active, engaged, social members into their communities.

View Direct Gifts to Children      View Gifts to Institutions and Organizations

Direct Gifts to Children

Hayden McClury

Hayden McCurdy on her adaptive bike,
thanks to Variety of Georgia

Hayden McCurdy, Variety of Georgia

Hayden was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome, a neuro-genetic disorder characterized by intellectual and developmental delay, sleep disturbance, seizures, jerky movements (especially hand-flapping), frequent laughter or smiling, and usually a happy demeanor.

She is not able to speak or walk independently, but she loves to play outdoors like every other child. Her parents and sister are quite active and Hayden has the same drive and desire to be outside and mobile.

Thanks for Variety of Georgia, she was loaned a mobility bike for a month and enjoyed using the bike to play with her sister and the rest of her family. According to her physical therapist, she has made tremendous progress with the mobility bike to help with her pre-walking skills and has gained a lot of vertical alignment stability. Her overall disposition has also improved since using the bike.

Visit the Variety of Georgia website

Isabella Wilson

Isabella Wilson on her adaptive bike,
thanks to Variety of Southern California

Isabella Wilson, Variety of Southern California

Isabella has a rare form of Epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome, otherwise known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy in Infancy. There is no cure and as of now, no known drug to help control the seizures.

In the first 18 months of little Isabella’s life, she was hospitalized 53 times. In 2007, one of Isabella’s seizures was so bad she was in the hospital for 12 weeks – 4 of those weeks on life support. She has recently been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, diffused brain injury and major developmental delays. Recently, at school, Isabella had the chance to ride an adaptive bike and her parents could not believe that she was able to turn the pedals on her own! They also learned that exercising her legs can someday help Isabella walk again, but when they looked into purchasing a bike for her, they realized they could not afford it.

Variety of Southern California is HAPPY to provide Isabella with a bike of her very own. They've given 17 adaptive bikes to other children in need and help tens of thousands of children.

Visit the Variety of Southern California website

Josh Silvern

Josh Silvern has an adaptive bike,
thanks to Variety of Illinois

Josh Silvern, Variety of Illinois

Josh's overlying condition is called neurodevelopmental delay, and over the years he has been diagnosed with many other conditions that seem to actually be subsets of neurodevelopmental delay - verbal apraxia, oral apraxia, global dyspraxia, global hypotonia, sensory integration dysfunction, static encephalopathy, cognitive delays, developmental delays, astigmatism, exotropia, asthma, anxiety disorder, probable PTSD, psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, and epilepsy.

Josh is a train fanatic and has travelled coast to coast with his family to see the BNSF, Union Pacific, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, Norfolk Southern, Iowa Interstate, Metra and others. He has even emailed some of the train companies with questions on occasion, and the CSX company sent him a real, honest to goodness engineer's hat! He has participated in Special Olympics, competing in basketball skills, soccer skills, track and field, gymnastics, bocce, and bowling. He is a State gold, silver, and bronze medal winner in some of those sports. He loves watching movies like the AirBud movies and loves spending time with family and friends, along the family cats - Burlington and Casey Jones. Josh is just learning to read and he loves working with his tutor and reading to other people, and reading his books at school. His favorite foods are grilled cheese, and peanut butter and jelly.

Variety of Illinois chose Joshua as a recipient because he sees other kids on their bikes and wants to be able to do some "normal" activity. Because of his issues, balance is a constant challenge. His mother, Sherry, a single parent wrote in the application, "I have so wanted him to enjoy the wonderful, freeing experience of riding a bike."

Visit the Variety of Illinois website

Nicholas Patino

Nicholas Patino on his adaptive trike,
thanks to Variety of Texas

Nicholas Patino, Variety of Texas

Nicholas Patino is an 11 year old who lives with Angelman Syndrome. Nicholas was diagnosed with AS as an infant, however has chosen to live his life as a very active and energetic little boy.

Because of his active nature and mobility limitations, Variety the Children’s Charity of Texas will provide Nicholas with his very own Freedom Concepts adaptive trike, valued at $4192. This tricycle will allow Nicholas to cruise through the neighborhood as every kid should, strengthening his muscles as well as his confidence.

Visit the Variety of Texas website

Will Grady

Will Grady will get his own adaptive bike,
thanks to Variety of St. Louis

Will Grady, Variety of St. Louis

Will, 6 years old, has never experienced the thrill of riding a bike due to cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects muscle tone, movement and motor skills.

He uses a wheelchair to get around, and while all of his friends in kindergarten were learning to ride their bikes, he sat on the sidelines and watched. He and his family even volunteered last year at Variety’s Bikes for Kids event, when more than 300 children received bikes – including 33 kids who received custom therapeutic bikes. As those 33 children received their brand new bikes, Will watched and dreamed of the day he would have his own.

Will can’t wait until Saturday, Dec. 3, when that dream will become a reality at Variety St. LouisBikes for Kids event. We have given away approximately 160 Therapeutic Bikes and more than 2,500 Traditional Bikes. We annually impact an estimated 14,500 children.

Visit the Variety of St. Louis website

Josselyn Rodriguez

Josselyn Rodriguez has her own adaptive bike, thanks to Variety of Wisconsin

Josselyn Rodriguez, Variety of Wisconsin

Josselyn is a fun, social 6 year old little girl. She loves music, dancing, and is eager and motivated to learn.

Josselyn is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy which causes decreased muscle strength and movement in her legs and her left arm. An adaptive bicycle will give Josselyn all of the benefits of exercise while helping to improve her leg strength and flexibility and improve her coordination.

Most importantly, Variety of Wisconsin will help give Josselyn the freedom and independence to experience the joy of riding through the park on a warm summer day – an activity that she can continue for a lifetime. This year, we are giving away 30 bikes to other children like Josselyn.

Visit the Variety of Wisconsin website

Felipa Saldivar

Felipa Saldivar has her own adaptive bike, thanks to Variety of the Desert

Felipa Saldivar, Variety of the Desert

Felipa is an enthusiastic seven-year-old who had a brain tumor removed by doctors at Loma Linda University Hospital when she was only four. The doctors said she would have left side weakness. She has been receiving physiotherapy from California Children’s Services.

Variety of the Desert is very excited to be able to present Felipa with an adaptive bike that will aid this beautiful child in recovery.

Visit the Variety of the Desert website

Felipa Saldivar

Alan Weiblinger has his own adaptive bike, thanks to Variety of Pittsburgh

Alan Weiblinger, Variety of Pittsburgh

Alan is 14 years old and weighs 90 pounds. Due to his diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy, he requires 100% assistance with all activities. He uses a manual wheelchair for mobility purposes, in which he is pushed by his parents and caregivers. At school, Alan is able to participate in an adaptive physical education program where he enjoys riding a Rifton Tricycle with maximal to moderate assistance. He had been able to benefit from range of motion to his lower legs, sitting balance and head control because of this activity. His family came to Variety of Pittsburgh for assistance in purchasing a Rifton Tricycle for home use, and they were happy to provide this equipment for Alan..

Variety of Pittsburgh has provided approximately 150 adaptive bicycles and/or tricycles for children with disabilities. We help support and touch the lives of more than 1000 children in southwestern Pennsylvania

Visit the Variety of Pittsburgh website

Gifts to Institutions and Organizations

Additionally, several U.S. Tents are providing equipment and support directly to leading organizations within their communities.

Variety of Detroit

Organization: Wing Lake School

Gift: Bike

Wing Lake School works with children with austism and down syndrome

Visit the Variety of Detroit website

Variety of Buffalo
and Western New York

Organization: CHC Learning Center

Gift: Bike

For more than 30 years, the CHC Learning Center has served the needs of students with mutiple disabilities and their families. The Center provides educational and therapeutic programming for infants - 21 years.

Visit the Variety of Buffalo and Western New York

Variety of Florida

Organization: UCP of Central Florida

Gifts: Special Bike

UCP of Central Florida provides a Center and Support for more than 250 special needs children.

Visit the Variety of Florida