Reporter: Parker Slaybaugh
Lynchburg, VA - For any kid, learning to ride a bike is a milestone in their life, but for some who are handicapped, that milestone may seem impossible.
One local non-profit organization is helping these dreams come true. Wheels on the James gave three specialty bikes, or Amtrykes, to three very deserving young kids. Mellie Ellison, David Sturgell, and Tanner Hall were all born with conditions that have made riding a bicycle challenging. Seeing the needs of children like these three, Nancy Wellons started Wheels on the James last year.
"I can see that it's doing some good for something, I can actually see my money going to something, and that it is helping an individual," said Wellons.
For Mellie, David, and Tanner the thought of riding any type of bike seemed only a dream. However, Sunday afternoon, that all changed.
"This is my first time riding a bike," said Tanner Hall, who received an Amtryke.
Tanner is eleven years old, and has a muscle disorder that has kept him from ever riding a bicycle. But thanks to Wheels on the James, Tanner got a gift.
"My bike, my new brand new bike," said Tanner as he was sitting on his new Amtryke.
After dad pulled the straps tight and adjusted the seat, Tanner's big moment came. Lap after Lap, Tanner circled the room inside the American Legion, for the first time in his life, he rode a bike.
"One of mom's biggest things is seeing her kid ride a bike. My other two were able to ride a bike, and now him, this is just wonderful," said Betsy Hall, Tanner's mom.
Wheels on the James says they have given 36 Amtrykes to deserving children and adults.
Amtrykes aren't cheap. An Amtryke can cost as much as $1,000.
If you would like to donate to Wheels on the James you can contact Nancy Wellons at (434)237-0928.