ALVIN, TX (KTRK) --A special-needs teen in Alvin has a big smile on her face since her church surprised her with a custom bicycle. 13-year-old Audrey Owens couldn't speak when she saw the bike on Wednesday for the first time.
Audrey was born with cerebal palsy which affects her movements and posture.
"There are many 'normal' things Audrey can't do or which come only with great difficulty because of impaired movement and muscle control: simple tasks like tying her shoes, brushing her teeth, washing her hair," said her dad, Clay Owens.
When the Owens family goes on bike rides, Audrey normally skips those trips or just walks behind.
The Owens family entered a contest for a custom/adaptive bicycle designed for children with cerebal palsy, but Audrey did not win. That's when the family's church, Heights Baptist Church in Alvin began a fundraising campaign to purchase a custom bike for Audrey.
Over the course of several weeks, the church raised more than $5,000 for Audrey's bicycle.
The bike is custom designed for Audrey's age, size and abilities. It has a special large frame three-wheel design, a seat with a back and seat-belt for stability. It also features larger, specially-shaped handlebars that are easier to grip, pedal plates that prevent Audrey's feet from slipping off the pedals and a handle at the rear of the bike that allows someone to walk/run behind to help steer and brake as needed.
However, new bike isn't just about the wheels.
"This special bike for her means so much than just riding around," said Clay Owens. "This bike will help her with such things as developing of hand/eye coordination, exercise, social acceptance and also improved self-esteem, because she will be able to join in on the fun and excitement of family bike rides together. This bike will allow her to gain long-term health benefits and do it in a safe and fun way. It is truly exciting."
Audrey took bike for a spin around the church parking lot and then joined her family and friends for a celebration ride.