Hello world! This is Grace Holguin who was born in January of 2007 in Las Cruces, NM. Grace was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and a congenital heart defect at birth. As a toddler, Grace enjoyed riding a tricycle; when she outgrew her tricycle, she received the first of many bikes with training wheels. Grace was never comfortable on these bikes; they were unsteady and it was difficult for her to balance on one foot to get on and off the bike. Family bike rides would often end in tears of frustration and Grace walking her bike back home rather than riding it.
Grace’s parents wanted to give her an adaptive bike, but the cost associated with Grace’s healthcare left little money for such an expensive purchase. Additionally, there was no place in Grace’s community for her parents to purchase an adaptive bike. In January 2021, Grace’s parents were able to give her an adaptive trike for her 14th birthday and Grace was ecstatic!
Sadly, within two weeks, Grace’s trike was stolen. Grace’s story captured the attention of her community which rallied to help. With the support of the community, and a dedicated local law enforcement officer, Grace’s trike was recovered. Inspired by the support they received, Grace and her family, along with their community, are determined to pay it forward and make it easier for more families in Las Cruces, NM, to give their special needs kids a bike they can ride regardless of the limitations of their body, so that Every Body Rides with Grace.
Children with disabilities can benefit from riding adaptive bikes. Physical benefits include increased joint motion, muscle movement, circulation, cardiovascular health, core development, and improved coordination and balance. Emotionally, riding adaptive bikes can help foster inclusion and a sense of independence. Barriers to obtaining an adaptive bike include prohibitive cost, lack of local availability and lack of support and guidance as to which bike or accessory is best suited for a rider’s needs. Every Body Rides with Grace seeks to draw attention to these barriers and increase accessibility to bike riding for children with disabilities in New Mexico.
Grace and her family are partnering with Velo Cruces, a local non-profit organization, to apply for grants, fundraise and collaborate with others who are interested in providing adaptive bikes for children with special needs. We are seeking to support children with both congenital and acquired disabilities as well as children who may need an adaptive bike or accessory because of a temporary medical situation such as undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment.
If you are interested in helping Grace pay it forward we would love to have your support. 100% of the proceeds from this fundraiser will be used to provide an adaptive bike and/or accessories for children with special needs.
For more information on this story “Marshall Comes to the Rescue to Recover Mesilla Girl’s Stolen Customized Trike” Bethany Freudenthal, Las Cruces Sun-News, February 22, 2021.
More information about Velo Cruces: Velo Cruces is a 501(c)(3) public charity formed in 2015 with the mission of transforming Las Cruces into a great bicycle and pedestrian community. We are dedicated to promoting bicycling friendly initiatives, businesses and events. Velo Cruces recognized a need in our community for free/low-cost bicycle repair services and established The Hub, a community bicycle repair shop. The Hub also provides free bicycles to those who are experiencing homelessness or near homelessness.