Child with cerebral palsy thriving with special therapy bicycle

Posted: 5:17 PM, Aug 30, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-30 17:17:57-04

We know the benefits of riding a bike, but a 3-year-old girl with cerebral palsy in Sterling Heights is thriving after getting a specially therapy bicycle.

This is all thanks to friends and family coming together to help.

Candy Penkala's daughter, Jennie Pam, was born with cerebral palsy and suffers from epilepsy.

She's had four brain surgeries in the three years of her life.

Candy was told by doctors Jennie Pam would never be able to move or talk.

"She wants to be independent," Candy said.  "She wants to stand and her body just doesn't cooperate. So, I can't even imagine being stuck in a body that doesn't cooperate."

Earlier this year, Jennie Pam's therapy included a special bike.

"This is important for you to see how difficult this is (for her to walk) then you will understand why it is so amazing that she rides this bike."

Jennie Pam got on the bike and for the first time, she was mobile on her own.

Candy explained, "She got on this bike and she put her hand up and was like 'mama' - so that was amazing."

Candy decided to look into purchase the bike.

"And I said 'How do I get this bike. I need this bike at my house."

It was $5,000, money they didn't have between all the medical bills.

Candy's friends and family held a bowling fundraiser raising nearly $13,000.

The bike was ordered and it arrived last week.

"And she just, ahhhh, was over the moon," Candy explained. "That's what every parent wants. You want them to be able to be a kid and go play. You take for granted the little things until you don't have them."

The extra donations will be used to purchase other therapy tools.

Candy says if you see Jennie Pam or any other child like her, please come up and say hello, and treat them like any other child.