For 15-year-old Emili, movement and staying in motion provides her with a sense of thrill and excitement. But, due to her daily battles with a rare nervous system disorder, Emili cannot ride a bicycle on her own. Emili’s one-true wish would change that. Her unique wish would provide her a set of wheels and a sense of freedom that she
Emili’s wish for an adaptive bike was a long-awaited wish. Emili and her family had for some time considered the possibility of an adaptive bike, but until now, it seemed unfeasible, improbable, and even impossible.
Then came the day when an adaptive bike literally rolled down the ramp of a trailer, polished metal gleaming in the light of the day, and tires moving, rotating closer to Emili and her family. With her loved ones sitting beside her, the day of Emili’s wish reveal turned into a day of cruising through the neighborhood. Emili finally had the freedom to ride with the wind in her hair.
Since that glorious day, Emili and her family have taken to the streets and Emili loves each and every bump in the road. Because of her critical illness, Emili’s family has spent most of her life worrying about her health and about her future, but when she is on her adaptive bike, there is no time to worry about future, there is only the present and the joy of the ride.
Emili’s parents knew the bike would be perfect for their daughter. What they didn’t expect, was how outspoken their daughter would become as they rode. Before her wish, Emili did not openly greet people on her own. Now, Emili is the conversation starter, often greeting neighbors and strangers they pass. The neighborhood children will pull out their own bikes and take to the streets alongside Emily. They gaze at Emili’s bike in wonder. An adaptive two person bike is not something you see on a daily basis, and like the proudest race car driver, Emili beams at everyone as she sits on her bike. This social engagement was something Emili’s family did not expect, but thanks to her adaptive bike, doors are opening for Emili. When speaking about her wish, Emili’s parents stated, “When we first saw one of these bikes we knew it would mean true freedom for her, something her disability cannot limit.”
On her bike, Emili can be her happy, silly, self. She is outspoken and empowered. The adaptive bike has blossomed into something more than just a bike; it has become an agent of opportunity and possibilities. The only limits now are where to bike, and for how long.
Through Emili’s wish, she no longer rides behind her family in a bike trailer, she no longer is forced to look backwards as her family pedals forward, Emili is in the front, she is on center stage and in the middle of the action. With the breeze in her hair, Emili peers forward onto the road, and onto a future full of freedom.