Antonia Moreida took in a breathtaking moment on Saturday when she saw her daughter Kasi take part in a parade. That’s because Kasi has down syndrome with visual and mobility impairments.
“It was the first time I saw my daughter ride a bike. I mean, I wanted to cry with happiness,” she said. “I don’t’ know how to explain it. Otherwise, she would have never rode a bike in her life.”
Kasi was riding one of two bikes that the nonprofit Believe It Foundation donated to Harlandale ISD.
“The tricycle allows us to take the kids with lower motor functioning,” said William McGinnis, a PE coach with Harlandale ISD. “The duet bicycles allow us to take our kids in wheelchairs who would not normally be able to ride, just to see the smiles on their faces.”
Founder and CEO Andrew McAllister hopes these bikes will give special needs students the confidence to achieve their biggest dreams.
“I have physical and visual disabilities,” McAllister said. “I’ve taken the approach that that wasn’t going to stop me, that I was still going to be able to succeed and make a difference in the world. And that’s what I want these kids to feel.”
The bikes will be used district-wide by more than 200 students.
“We’re going to be able to provide opportunities that normally wouldn’t be able to give to our special needs population,” McGinnis said.
“Just to have that for her or any special needs kids is awesome,” Moreida said.