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Tunnell School student receives special bike

Posted at 3:47 PM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 18:47:54-04

Tunnel School 2nd grade student Albert Varelas received a special bicycle so he can participate in bike safety lessons given to all students in his grade.

Albert uses a wheelchair for mobility because he has a degenerative muscle disease that affects the strength of his legs and creates other health issues.

Last school year, Albert received a Challenged Athlete Grant so his family could purchase a specially adapted bicycle, however the grant didn't fund the entire amount of the bike he needed in order to ride independently.

In August, SMBSD Adaptive PE teacher Rachel Renkoski started a GoFundMe campaign to raise the rest of the money for Albert's bike. More than $900 was donated by community members and district staff within just a few days.

Albert then received his adapted 3-wheeled bike on September 20.

"The day that Albert received his new bike was amazing," said PE teacher Maurecia Rea-Clark. "He was able to be fully integrated in the bike safety lesson and participate with his peers. It was a moment he will probably always remember, and it happened because of the truly giving and loving culture at Tunnell School. I am so thankful to be a part of this culture and these unforgettable moments."

Albert will be participating in the next bike safety lesson on Friday, September 27.