Angela MacIntyre never thought she would be able to watch her son 10-year-old son, Liam, ride a bicycle.
But thanks to the iCan Bike Program, Liam, who has a syndrome that affects his muscle tone and overall development, is gaining skills that will allow him ride alongside his friends and family.
"The progress that he's made in a week is unbelievable." MacIntyre said.
"He did the program last year but I never thought we'd ever get him on two-wheels. By the end of the week, he was, with help."
The five-day program, hosted by HSN’s NEO Kids Children’s Treatment Centre, gives individuals with disabilities the opportunity to learn how to ride a bike, in a fun and easy way using specialized equipment.
Participants start the program on a bicycle that has been adapted with a roller attached to the back wheel.
As the child gets more confident and gains strength, the rollers are progressively raised to improve their balance.
Once they are on the top roller they are transitioned to a two-wheeler.
Physiotherapist Nicole Graham said about 80 per cent of last year's participants graduated at the end of the week and left with more self-esteem and confidence.
"Some of them need continued work on their balance and coordination," Graham said. "But now they have the tips and skills to continue work on that at home."
The iCan Bike Program is run under the direction of trained professionals and volunteers.
Thanks to a generous donation from the GoodLife Kids Foundation of over $10,000, HSN’s NEO Kids Children’s Treatment Centre is able to host the iCan Bike program for participants in northern Ontario.
Learn more about the program here.