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Cheyanne's new pink bike is extra special

ALEX FENSOME
Last updated 05:00 24/02/2012

Cheyanne Richards, who has achondroplasia, needed a special bike so she could go riding, ane Invercargill's Lions Clubs got one for her.

test drive
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ
TEST DRIVE: Cheyanne Richards tries out her new bike as Waikiwi Lions president John Warren, left, and Invercargill East Lions president Joe Wilson look on. The bike was donated by the Lions clubs.

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Getting her first bike was even more special for Cheyanne Richards than for other children her age.

The Invercargill 7-year-old was born with achondroplasia, a condition which causes dwarfism.

The $350 bike, donated by the Waikiwi and Invercargill East Lions Clubs, allow Cheyanne to exercise and get out and about.

Other bikes were either too small or had seats which were too high.

The bright pink machine was specially adapted for her. It is a big hit with the St Joseph's School pupil.

"It's so fast," Cheyanne said, pedalling around the driveway of her Invercargill home.

The bike was presented by Invercargill East club president Joe Wilson and Waikiwi president John Warren.

It had been altered by Rob McMurdo, of Wensley Cycles.

Cheyanne's mother, Desaray Richards, was blown away by the Lions' generosity and her daughter's reaction.

"I think it's absolutely amazing," she said. "It's going to strengthen her so much."

The bike would aid her recovery from surgery for her condition, she said.

Cheyanne's physiotherapists, Mardi Postill and Marie Cruickshank, said she could now enjoy bike rides to Queens Park for exercise and to play with other children.

"She's never even ridden a bike before," they said. "She candevelop her fitness and strength and be like other kids."

The bike had stabilisers for the moment, but there was already talk about Cheyanne doing the Surf-to-City bike ride next year.

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- The Southland Times

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