Valentin’s Story

Valentin, 15 (progressive neuromuscular disease)   Valentin, 15 (progressive neuromuscular disease)

I wish to have an adaptive bike   I wish to have an adaptive bike

Valentin, an active, adventure-seeking 15-year-old, loves being outdoors with his friends and family, including his dog, twin brother Markus, and parents Melodie and Samuel. Even when inside, he is often found watching action-packed films or reading Car and Driver Magazine. As a lover of all things thrilling, Valentin says if he had a superpower, it would be to fly. He quipped, “Who needs to walk if you can fly?”

Valentin lives with Friedreich’s Ataxia, a debilitating genetic disorder characterized by muscle loss, impaired coordination and fatigue. Further complicated by juvenile arthritis and a life-threatening heart condition, he requires a brace, walker or wheelchair as well as weekly injections and physiotherapy.

With an old, broken bike that wasn’t suitable for his condition or for off-roading, Valentin felt left out of his active friends’ and family’s adventures. He wished for a bike that could handle speed and adventure the way he could, even on the advanced trails he yearned to explore.

The gift of a adaptive bike, according to Melodie, “has given our son a measure of freedom and independence that he has not had for years.” With the ability to travel long distances safely and on his own, Valentin now embarks on adventures in town with friends, with his dog using a tow leash, and in the company of his family. The tricycle also enables him to navigate through snow, a task that was previously challenging for Valentin due to his mobility limitations. “We are very active outdoors and have not been able to do much together. Now we go camping, hiking, and mountain biking, and everyone is having fun.”

Hope is essential for children with critical illnesses, and its life-changing power is unlocked when wishes like Valentin’s are granted. Together we can continue to transform lives, one wish at a time.