Charity celebrates the recovery of a lorry full of adapted bikes for children with disabilities

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

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

The five-ton truck contained around 25 suitable bicycles inside.

The disappearance of the vehicle was particularly worrying because the charity, which provides programs and resources for families with disabilities, is hosting a bike clinic at the dealership next week.

During the clinic, the children receive bicycles adapted to their mobility needs.

“If you have our bikes, we just want our bikes picked up. 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 good news.

“Thank you EVERYONE for sharing the info on our missing bikes and trucks,” he wrote.

“We are happy to report that the truck and all bikes have been SUCCESSFULLY RECOVERED! Thank you for helping us light up a child’s life!”

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

Recovering the bikes is important to the charity as most are highly customisable, with special footrests, and are either a two-wheeled bike with big wheels or a three-wheeled trike.

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

Each bike bears a Calgary Cerebral Palsy Kids and Families tag and is listed with the Calgary Police.

From May 13 to 20, Stelter expects around 140 children to come to the clinic.

“A lot of these kids can’t sit, walk, or ride, but you put them on one of our adapted bikes and they can ride around the neighborhood like typical kids. It’s life-changing,” said she declared.

Wiley C. Thompson