Ten-year-old Charlie Krupka’s just a kid out for a bike ride.
That’s something his parents didn’t think possible when he was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy at birth.
“We were told he would not walk, would not talk, we were really unaware of how we would develop,” said Michael Krupka, Charlie’s dad.
But today Charlie is living a much different life. That’s thanks in part to Easter Seals DuPage Fox Valley- a non-for-profit providing therapy to children and adults up to age 20 who have various disabilities.
Charlie’s dad works for the group who’ve helped his son gain strength through years of therapy, and gave him the opportunity and means to ride this adaptive bike.
“Since I have cerebral palsy I’m not able to have enough balance, but thanks to the hard work and appreciation of Easter Seals DuPage Fox Valley, the therapists have helped me thrive, to pedal a three-wheeled bike which I’m so happy riding because I’m free, and I can ride at my own pace and ride with my friends and peers,” explained Charlie.
Easter Seals DuPage Fox Valley has partnered with Windy City Trykes to give more kids the same opportunity Charlie now has today.
“Thanks to an anonymous donor here in Naperville we’ve been fortunate to be able to provide bikes to our kids. And we’ve partnered with Windy City Trykes to be able to find the right bike for the right kid,” said Michael Krupka.
But as Charlie will explain, this is not just any bike.
“It has three wheels, it’s a red bike with black handlebars, it has a belt, it has a basket, it’s own license plate and I’m so fast on it that my parents can barely keep up with me,” he said.
That’s a challenge they’re thankful to have.
“Five years ago I never believed it would be possible that Charlie would be riding his bike like he is a mile away from home on his bicycle. But today it’s a dream realized and that’s something that we wish for all kids,” added Michael Krupka.
Easter Seals DuPage Fox Valley will give away their first bike in the fall.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.