Little girl with limited mobility gifted special tricycle

SOUTH BEND, Ind.— Life has dealt 7-year-old Ariel of South Bend with many difficult hurdles. Born with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy, an extremely rare form of the disorder, Ariel is unable to walk on her own and struggles with balance issues.

“She’s been through a lot. She’s been having therapy since she was an infant and up until now she still receives therapy and PTOT and speech she receives those services too at school,” Ariel’s Mom Priscilla Pineda said.

But despite these challenges, Ariel is described as a lively girl with a heart of gold.

“She loves school, she loves her therapist she, she’s a really happy girl, she just loves everything,” Pineda said.

Wednesday afternoon, nonprofit organization Anna’s Celebration of Life, whose mission is to help special needs children and families who may not have the financial means to buy certain devices for their child, stopped by Ariel’s home to gift her a trike!

“When we get an application in the ‘tell us about your child’ section is as long as it was for Ariel, that immediately starts pulling our heart strings,” Anna’s Celebration of Life Foundation Director Brad Haberman said. “When you have so many different things going on from the time that you’re born from, in Ariel’s case, until she’s 6 going on 7, it just really kind of brings the pressure to the forefront or the immediacy for the need.”

Because of Ariel’s cerebral palsy, controlling a normal bike is difficult. So, having a trike, will help her maintain her balance easier all while having a blast!

“When we can come and deliver a gift and she can deliver the smiles that she did to us...that just makes us feel special,” Haberman said.

“To have this trike is amazing because I know she’s going to be so happy becuase she played with one in therapy, she would ride it and be so happy because she can move on her own and feel independent and not rely so much on someone helping her,” Pineda said.

This gift, meaning the world to both Ariel and her family.

“Thank you so much to Anna’s Celebration of Life. It means the world to us the gift they’ve given to her and I know we’ll be thankful for the rest of our lives because it’s so amazing,” Pineda said.

This wasn’t the organizations first stop to deliver smiles, and it won’t be their last. Since starting up their foundation back in 2005, Anna’s Celebration of Life made it a goal to serve any special needs child, just like Ariel, that they can.

With starting with only being able to serve around 15 kids a year, with the help of donations to make it all possible, they’ve grown to be able to surprise over 100 children a year in Indiana! So far just this week, they’ve delivered 6 devices to children with special needs!

“7 years into this, each one brings me great joy whether we get to experience the joy directly with the child like we did today with Ariel or not, it just brings me great joy because we now know, I now know personally that this child’s going to have a chance in life to do something she otherwise wouldn’t be able to do. And what child doesn’t deserve to ride a bike,” Haberman said.

To learn more about Anna’s Celebration of Life Foundation, how to donate, or how to get involved, click here.

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