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Josh's Surprise

You can help children with special needs receive a tricycle adapted to their needs!

     Josh (16) was born with VATAR syndrome. This syndrome can affect children in a number of ways. A  child may have abnormalities: Vertebrae, Anus, Trachea, Esophagus, and Renal (kidneys). There may also be cardiac and limb conditions. For Josh, it meant a heart defect and trouble with his esophagus. As a result, Josh has a tracheostomy and is unable to speak.
     Going for family walks is sometimes hard for Josh, because of VATAR syndrome, so he would ride in a stroller. Because he needed something better, Kim, Josh's mother, entered an online contest, the Great Bike Giveaway, to win a bicycle for Josh. Kim wrote a story about Josh and why he would benefit from that bike and posted it on the site. People voted on the stories in the nationwide contest. Josh's story didn't win, so Kim commented to friends that even though they didn't win, she would try again next year!
     Friends and neighbors, who heard the story, decided to help. Beth Meyer and her family have lived near the Koons for a number of years.  They called another friend, Deb Parmelee, and got the ball rolling. They asked friends and neighbors,  if they would be willing to donate. Everyone was quickly on board and the money came in.
     The next step was a visit to Bike Central, in Le Mars, to order a bicycle. Working with a bicycle company, Rifton, Bike Central was able to order a bike tailored to Josh's needs. 
      Koons family had no idea what was happening behind the scenes. When measurements were needed so the bike fit Josh correctly, Parmelee worked with the school nurse to get the necessary measurements. Once the bicycle manufacturer heard Josh's story, it provided a generous discount for the group.
     After weeks of preparation and attending to every detail on the bike, the time came to make the presentation. Friends and neighbors waited on the second level of the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor to surprise the Koons family. The group presented Josh with a bicycle adapted to his special needs. They strapped Josh in and he was ready to roll.
     The family walks are a little different now.
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