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IM ABLE Helping Reading Youth Ride with Her Sister

by IM ABLE Foundation

IM ABLE Helping Reading Youth Ride with Her Sister

Imagine being 12 years old again. Remember riding through the neighborhood until the streetlights came on reminding you it was time to go home? Times have certainly changed since those days but what hasn’t changed is the joy of the wind in your hair or the happiness you feel when you’re playing alongside your friends and siblings.

Maia Martinez was born in the Dominican Republic.  She is currently a 6th grader in the Reading School District and lives with her parents and sister.  She loves Justin Bieber, playing games with her friends and family, and watching her sister ride her bike.

The IM ABLE Foundation is running a campaign to help Maia achieve her goal of not just watching others but of riding alongside her sister and their friends. Something like – PA State Representative Mark Rozzi committed resources from his team to help Maia’s goal. “It’s my honor to do what I can to help members of all abilities from this community,” said Rep. Rozzi. “Maia is an inspiration and we’re glad to do what we can for her and her family.”

“When I first met Maia, I could tell this young girl was just like every other kid,” said Chris Kaag, IM ABLE Founder/CEO. “She wanted to get outside and live her childhood but she doesn’t have what she needs to do that. It’s crazy to think that a $2,500 bike is the only thing that’s preventing her from doing what every kid should have a chance to do.” IM ABLE has a website set up for tax-deductible donations for Maia’s bike and is asking for help from the community:

Maia was born prematurely at 28 weeks, weighing only 2.5lbs.  She was born with Cerebral Quadriplegic Palsy and vision problems.  As she grew, her condition did not improve.

Her parents searched and prayed for an answer until they found the Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia.  Four years ago, her family left everything they knew for a chance to change Maia’s life.  “My mom always says, ‘No excuses, just move!’” said Maia.  “The Shriners Hospital gave my family hope when they accepted me into their program.”

“My family has a dream of my sister and I riding together one day,” Maia says with a smile. “I currently cannot walk or move my trunk, but I do have mobility in my legs with help. My hands have limited strength, but I’m working on making them stronger. I do not receive therapy except for when I am visiting the hospital.  My mom is my therapist at home and that is why I am hoping for an adaptive bicycle.  I know that this tool will help me and my mom with my rehabilitation, while at the same time helping me feel like an ordinary girl.  It is my hope that my story will inspire you to donate so that I can one day ride alongside my sister, giving my parents, who have sacrificed so much for me, the ability to see that the choices they made for our family and me were worth it!”

According to her 5th grade teacher, Megan Harrison, “Maia personifies joy, patience, and perseverance. We recently held our 5th grade end of the year award ceremony and Maia was awarded Best Character for our classroom.  Maia deserves the opportunity to continue to feel like a kid.  She deserves the opportunity to do everything that her friends who do not use wheelchairs do and experience.  I cannot overstate the impact that the gift of an adaptive bicycle would have for Maia.”

The mission of the IM ABLE Foundation is to remove obstacles that prevent people like Maia from being physically active by providing grants, resources, fitness opportunities and motivation. We change attitudes by redefining what is possible. For more information or to support IM ABLE’s mission to provide opportunities for people with adaptive needs, please go to