St. Petersburg charities team up to buy a bike for child with cerebral palsy


4-year-old Presley Dickson has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy. The Palm Harbor youngster can’t stroll or stand unassisted, so she makes use of a walker to get round. However that hasn’t stopped her from studying how one can swim, dance and play along with her associates.

Now, Presley needs to experience a motorcycle along with her neighbors and youthful sister.

“All of her associates are able-bodied youngsters and experience regular bikes and tricycles,” stated her mother, Hunter Dickson, 29.

Dickson came upon about Charlie’s Champs, a St. Petersburg-based nonprofit devoted to offering alternatives for youngsters with disabilities. After spending time on the group’s wait record, Presley will quickly obtain an adaptive bike constructed specifically for her wants on the Just Be A Kid Bike Ride on Dec. 5.

The fundraiser, going down at Lurie Park on the Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch on 5500 62nd Ave. N. in Pinellas Park, can be a motorcycle rally for youngsters with particular wants and their households. The purpose is to assist the youngsters take pleasure in biking inside the protected confines of the specifically designed park, in line with a media launch.

“With COVID and issues, lots of these youngsters have been caught at residence,” stated Amanda Grozdanic, an occupational therapist who’s organizing the occasion. “We had been looking for a method to give again to those youngsters.”

The fundraiser occasion is a collaboration between Charlie’s Champs Florida, Experienced Autism Alliance, and Grozdanic’s group, FUSE (Functional Useful Skills Experiences) Therapy. The St. Pete Bike Membership can be supporting the trigger.

Bikes might be accessible for youngsters who want them, or they’ll deliver their very own adaptive bikes. Youngsters from as much as 25 households will have the ability to bike on the park, staggered by quarter-hour every for social distancing. There might be even be a craft for the children and music, all with coronavirus security procedures.

An adaptive bike just like the one Presley wants would price between $4,800 and $6,000, Dickson stated. They’re usually custom-made, with options like particular helps to maintain them on the bikes or peddles that enable members of the family to push riders once they get drained.

“It’s very individualized to the child’s wants, which is why they price a lot,” she stated. “They’re fairly heavy and fairly cumbersome.”

Thus far, the organizations have raised $2,000 of the $4,000 wanted for Presley’s bike. Any additional funds will go to the Skilled Autism Alliance.

Having an adaptive bike means loads to Presley and her household, Grozdanic stated. She has been engaged on standing and strolling independently after present process a life altering process in July. The kid has made nice progress whereas utilizing an adaptive bike to strengthen her legs and achieve mobility in a clinic setting.

“These wheels are like her legs,” Grozdanic stated. “That is her manner of attending to play and getting to maintain up along with her household. That is large for her to get her set of wheels.”

Donations might be made at For extra data or to guide a slot to take part within the fundraiser, contact Grozdanic at or 918-810-3109.


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