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Riding a bike is a rite of passage for any kid. But, that doesn't mean it's a simple task for everyone. Take 11–year–old Desiree Konken from Sioux City. She has cerebral palsy and suffers from seizures. But she can ride a bike, all thanks to Variety, The Children's Charity.
Her smile is endearing. Her laugh: contagious. Desiree Konken is easy to love. But raising a child with special needs has been a constant challenge for her mother, Eugenia.
"You're dealing with surgeries and hospitals visits and blood work all the time and if she gets sick with, say, the common flu – it'll take her out for two weeks," says Eugenia Konken.
Dezy was born with cerebral palsy and also suffers from seizers. She didn't walk until she was three and said her first word even later.
But, her mom says Dezy, now 11, is not defined by what she can't do, especially now, thanks to a generous donation from Variety, The Children's Charity.
"Dezy didn't know nothing about it, so it was like a big (gasps). It was priceless," Eugenia Konken.
A brand new adaptive bike was presented to her and her family last fall. It was completely free, thanks to Variety and the donations of Siouxlanders and businesses like Wal–Mart and Fareway.
Dezy's bike is specially adapted to her needs. And it's thereputic, both emotionally and phyically.
"She's all excited about getting on and just going. And it pushes her to move her legs and working them and getting from [point] A to B."
It's too cold for Dezy to ride her bike now – in fact, it's put away in storage for the time being. But, she can't wait to get it out on the open road again.
You can help kids like Dezy and her family by donating to Variety – The Children's Charity – through their telethon which is coming up March 9th and 10th.
You can watch it on Channel 9 KCAU-TV starting Saturday at 10:30pm.