Charity celebrates recovery of truck full of adaptive bikes for kids with disabilities

A Calgary charity was breathing a sigh of relief Friday afternoon after a truck full of adaptive bikes for children with disabilities was successfully recovered. 

A day earlier, Cerebral Palsy Kids and Families was left scrambling after the truck and bikes were taken from the Great West Kenworth dealership in southeast Calgary.

The five-tonne truck had about 25 adaptive bikes inside.

The vehicle’s disappearance was particularly worrying as the charity, which offers programs and resources for families living with disabilities, is hosting a bike clinic at the dealership next week.

During the clinic, kids are set up with bikes that fit their mobility needs.

“If you have our bikes, we just want our bikes back. That’s all we want,” Sheralee Stelter, executive director of Cerebral Palsy Kids and Families, told CBC News on Thursday.

But on Friday afternoon, the organization tweeted some good news.

“Thank you to EVERYONE for sharing the information about our missing bikes and truck,” it wrote. 

“We are happy to announce that both the truck and all bicycles are successfully RECOVERED! Thank you for helping us to Light Up A Child’s Life!”

Earlier, the Calgary Police Service told CBC News that the truck was stolen sometime between midnight and 5 a.m. on Thursday from the locked compound.

Recovery of the bikes is significant for the charity as most are highly customizable, with special foot plates, and are either a two-wheel bike with fat wheels or a three-wheel trike. 

“They’re very expensive, highly adaptable bikes that are only really good for kids with physical disabilities,” Stelter said.

Each bike has a Calgary Cerebral Palsy Kids and Families label and is indexed with the Calgary police.

From May 13 to 20, Stelter is expecting about 140 kids to come to the clinic.

“A lot of these kids can neither sit, walk or roll, but you put them on to one of our adapted bikes and they can ride around the neighborhood like typical kids. It’s life-changing for them,” she said.

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