Girl Buys Bikes for Special Needs Kids

Riley Christensen raises money to buy three adaptive bikes

By Marcus Riley
|  Friday, Dec 25, 2009  |  Updated 8:45 AM CDT
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A 10-year-old girl shows the true Christmas spirit.

A 10-year-old girl shows the true Christmas spirit.

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Three special needs children in the western suburbs took the ride of their young lives Thursday.

It's all thanks to 10-year-old Riley Christensen, who spent the day delivering adaptive bikes to the lucky recipients.

Riley was looking at a bike for her dad's birthday a few months back when she noticed the customized bikes and decided to spring into action.

"I thought it would be Christmas present and something that would change their life. Thinking it would be the best present ever," Riley said.

She slipped a note into the family's Christmas cards and was overwhelmed by the response -- more than $6,000 in donations in the form of hundreds of checks.

"She was so determined to raise the money. There was never any doubt in her mind she was going to make it. It was amazing," Riley's mother said.

Fifteen-year-old Jenny Koulback, who has cerebral palsy, received one of the bikes and immediately tested it out on her driveway.

"It's given her freedom. A lot of freedom that she didn't have and has lived with since the day she was born," Jenny's father, Steve Koulback, said.

Hal Honeyman, who owns The Bike Rack in St. Charles, helped Jenny purchase the bikes, which cost thousands of dollars.

"My son has cerebral palsy so I really understand what these families are going through. What Riley has done, to me, is amazing," Honeyman said.

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