The inspiration behind this year’s Holiday Adaptive Bike Giveaway is a little boy named Riley. In 2016 Riley was a recipient of Project Mobility's Adaptive Bike Giveaway at our Annual Golf Outing, Everybody Golfs. His mom told us that the time he had with his adaptive bike was the best time of his life.
Unfortunately, in 2018 Riley lost his battle with brain cancer at only 8 years old. He was the first child we had given the freedom of mobility to with cancer and his bravery will live on forever. Riley is now helping these 6 children with their mobility dreams.
For those that follow Project Mobility you may be wondering why we are helping children with cancer. You might not think they need an adaptive bike, but the treatments for pediatric cancers include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy and sometimes a combination of many. These treatments can result in a loss of function including balance, cognition, endurance, mobility, vision, and so much more. Some children even have strokes and secondary cancers. Because of these issues they may no longer be able to ride that two wheeled bike they may already have at home. Some of these children go from walking one day to only being able to get around in the wheelchair the next. Cancer steals their mobility and we want to get it back for them but we need your help!
These young children have had so many aspects of their life taken away. Every child deserves to ride a bike with their family and friends. They deserve to have this part of their pre-cancer life back and with your help we can make this happen.
"Riley was only 4 years old when he was diagnosed with aggressive brain and spinal cancer, called Pineoblastoma, in January of 2014. He had 3 brain tumors as well as spinal tumors. Prior to his diagnosis, he suffered from fatigue, early morning nausea and vomiting, headaches, and mobility issues. Riley endured 31 days of intense proton radiation to his entire brain and spine, and then 6 cycles of high dose, inpatient chemotherapy. Towards the end of radiation, he slowly lost his ability to walk. He ended up doing inpatient rehabilitation at RIC in Chicago in between his chemotherapy cycles, but never regained his ability to walk. At the end of treatment Riley was declared “stable” as the tumors had shrunk and he no longer had any more masses.
Unfortunately, in June of 2016, another tumor had grown in his brain, and Riley officially relapsed. During this time, Riley received additional intensive OT, PT, and Speech Therapy services. He learned to crawl, but never was able to walk again. A friend reached out and shared that Project Mobility was having an Adaptive Bike Give Away Contest and that we should fill out the application. I wrote up Riley’s story and how important it would be for Riley and for our family, for Riley to regain some freedom of movement that he had lost and to just be a kid again and ride bikes with his older brother. The contest had 3 contestants. Unfortunately, Riley was too sick to attend the luncheon to announce the winner, but we received a phone call that all 3 kids were gifted bikes. I was in complete tears. Riley, his older brother Aidan, and I, went to The Bike Rack and got to see Riley’s beautiful, adaptive, and purple bike. It was the most amazing experience! Riley got on that bike and took off. His smile and laugh was priceless. He rode around the whole store and there was no stopping him! We will be forever grateful to The Bike Rack and Project Mobility for Riley’s adaptive bike. He was able to ride his bike with his brother and enjoy life during those moments.
Unfortunately, Riley lost his battle with brain cancer on March 19th, 2018, after a second relapse. He was the sweetest boy and touched the hearts of everyone he met. He will be forever missed. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Project Mobility for reaching out, sharing Riley’s story, and helping other children with cancer. Cancer steals the lives of these little children and takes so much away from them, including their mobility. We will forever treasure and remember those special moments when Riley would ride his bike and I would have to run chasing him just to catch up.
The Buckholz Family"
Meet the 6 Children (below)
Throughout the campaign we will feature each child's story every week for you to get to know them and find out what they have been through. Stay tuned!
Learn more about who Project Mobility is - https://www.projectmobility.org/