Brooke’s Story – a letter from her mother, Karen
“I’m a member of the Western NY committee for the iCan Bike camp (first from right in above photo). I joined the committee after my daughter completed the camp in 2010. I knew that we needed to make sure that this program was around to help other kids the way it helped my daughter Brooke (second from left in above photo). I want to tell you about the ways in which the iCan Bike program changed my daughter’s life:
Brooke was born 3 months premature, weighing just 1 lb. 8 oz. She has had fine and gross motor delays her entire life. When she was almost 13 years old, she couldn’t ride and was very embarrassed to practice in front of the neighbors. She was desperate to learn, and we didn’t know what to do. We asked her physical and occupational therapists at school, and they didn’t know how to help her either. A few months later, Brooke’s occupational therapist sent home a flyer about the bike program. We signed Brooke up immediately.
The program was a complete success for Brooke. At the end of camp week, she was shaky but riding independently. A week after that she had mastered starting and stopping by herself. She was able to ride a bicycle, just as we had hoped. What we weren’t prepared for were the emotional and attitudinal changes that the camp brought on in Brooke. As the camp week progressed, Brooke became more emotional each day. On the last day, she wept openly. When we finally got her to tell us what was wrong, she told us that she hadn’t believed that she could ever learn how to ride a bike.
Our camp was held in June of 2010, but Brooke’s story certainly doesn’t end there… When Brooke returned to school in September her occupational therapist told her that she was going to work on a new skill. Brooke’s response was, ‘I learned how to ride a bike. I can do ANYTHING!’ That attitude stuck with her, and she still has it today.
Since completing the iCan Bike program Brooke’s confidence has soared. She has been consistently on the Honor Roll, and is now on track to earn a NY State Regents diploma when she graduates from High School. Her teachers told me that Brooke has made strides in the past 4 years that they never expected. And we believe that it all started with the iCan Bike program.
In June 2011, our family joined thousands of riders in the ‘Ride for Roswell,’ a fundraising event for Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo New York. One of our friend’s daughters receives treatment there, and Brooke told me that she wanted to take what she learned and use it to help other kids. My family raised almost $1,000 for this cause the first year. We have participated in the Ride for three years now as biking is now a favorite family activity for us.
Thank you iCan Shine. Your program has changed my daughter’s life in ways I never dreamed possible.”
SHINE ON BROOKE!
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