Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Stolen adapted trike returned to teen

Allison Babiarz, 13, on her adapted three-wheeler

Newspapers around Illinois reported the return of a stolen, custom-made three-wheeler that allowed Allison Babiarz, 13, a teenager with cerebral palsy, to ride around her Crystal Lake. Ill., neighborhood.

The $2000 adapted trike was stolen from the family's garage last week, leading to a plea by the teen and her parents for its return. A police officer spotted the trike July 14 and returned it to Allison.

"At first it was very confusing," Allison told the Chicago Tribune. "Why didn't they take anything else? Maybe they thought it was an awesome bike or maybe they just wanted to play a cruel joke."

The trike is designed for children with disabilities and had been customized for Allison, who needed the seat raised and the pedals changed so her feet would stay on them. The trike, she said, helps because she doesn't have the stability in her legs to balance on a two-wheeler.

The trike was designed by Hal Honeyman of St. Charles, Ill., a father of triplets, one of whom has cerebral palsy. His company, Creative Mobility, provides children and adults with adaptive bicycles, which are sold at his family's store in St. Charles, The Bike Rack.