“Melanie is my walking miracle,” says her mom, Yvonne. “But she’s also your typical 11-year-old girl who won’t let anyone stop her from doing what she wants to do.”
Born at just 29 weeks, Melanie spent the first several months of her life in the ICU. She battles a chronic lung disease and spends hours in occupational therapy to aid with everyday tasks due to right arm hypoplasia (her right arm is about 50% shorter than average and her right hand has three digits).
When Melanie was younger, her mom bought her an upright bike that sat in their garage collecting dust until they eventually gave it away — Melanie was unable to ride it.
This year, Melanie joined Dare2tri’s Multisport Clinic, determined to reach her goal of riding a bike. It was there that she was able to ride one for the first time in her life, trying an adaptive bike with better stability and control.
“She didn’t want to leave,” Yvonne remembers. “She loved the bike and wouldn’t stop racing with the other kids and the adults, too.”
Melanie had so much fun that she joined Dare2tri again for Kids Tri Camp. She spent two amazing days biking, swimming, and running alongside an experienced and encouraging community.
Melanie’s journey would not have been possible without the support of generous donors. For Melanie, and many others, Dare2tri is a place of discovery, confidence-building, and community. It’s where coaches, peers, and supporters celebrate everyone’s abilities. This holiday season, you can help more kids like Melanie experience the joys of biking, running, and swimming.