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Children Shine At Special Needs Camp

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Tracy Kornet
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The iCan Bike Camp in Arlington is a non-profit that helps kids with disabilities learn how to ride a two-wheel bikes. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

The iCan Bike Camp in Arlington is a non-profit that helps kids with disabilities learn how to ride a two-wheel bikes. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) - Riding a bike is something many kids may take for granted.

But for those with disabilities, such as 17-year-old Kiki Sanchez, who has Down Syndrome, riding on two wheels is a very big deal.

It’s a sight his mother, Danielle, didn’t expect to see on her son’s first day at ICanShine Bike Camp at the University of Texas at Arlington.

“I can’t wait till Friday, so I can bring the rest of my family!” exclaimed Danielle Sanchez.

The non-profit camp helps children with disabilities learn how to ride a two-wheel bike using adaptive bicycles with rollers in place of back tires.

After 75 minutes of instruction in five days, trainers say 80 percent of riders learn how to ride a bike.

“As they progress and the week progresses, the rollers get smaller and smaller,” explained Amber Holmes, managing director of Downs Syndrome Partnership of North Texas. “By Thursday and Friday they are riding without any training wheels. It helps them gain independence and confidence. That’s what this is all about.”

Kristine Smith is a Special Olympics gold medalist. Her cycling savvy started just three years ago at ICanShine Bike Camp.

“She is so proud of herself when she’s able to do it and everything by herself,” said Kristine’s dad, Stephen Smith.

This year, Kristine and her parents volunteered to help others learn how to ride.

The non-profit partners with local organizations to host camp in their communities. Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas hosted this week’s camp.

ICanShine is always looking for volunteers. If you’d like to help or want more information about the bike camp click here.

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