Charlie Berghoffer is a 12-year-old boy who is described as always looking dapper, an old soul and a fun kid.
“He loves the adult interaction more than the younger. I think he likes to learn from them,” said his father, Charles.
He loves to laugh and have fun with his sister.
“He’s trying to be a normal kid as much as he can as far as his ability to do things,” said his mother, Page.
Charlie has hemiplegia cerebral palsy which means spasticity only affects half of his body. For Charlie, his right side is weaker than his left.
“That’s where the bike comes in,” said Charles. “It provides that relief from the waist down. It provides that extra physical exercise for him.”
It strengthens the legs which is important for kids with cerebral palsy.
Charles and Page found out about Freedom Concepts after a simple online search. They knew about other adaptive bike companies, but Charlie had outgrown them.
“I just did it through Google search and I was very intrigued with the bicycles and that’s when I got in contact with James,” said Charles.
Now the next step was to start fundraising for the bike.
It initially started with them thinking about Charlie’s newest exercise of walking stairs.
“It’s difficult for kids with cerebral palsy to walk up because of balance. Walking on a simple floor is hard enough, to go up and down is difficult,” said Charles.
They were walking stairs when the idea came to do it with the police and fire departments.
“We knew they did a walk here in our local community for 9/11. Because they do it on 9/11 every year, you see the people,” said Page.
Charlie knew a lot of the policemen and firemen in the community through other events.
“They were so intrigued. They really wanted Charlie to walk with them,” said Charles.
When this idea came to mind, they suggested wrapping a fundraiser into it because Charlie wanted to fundraise for his new bike.
Page took videos of Charlie showing what he was working towards, and it blew up from there.
“The police and fire department were all on board. They were so fascinated with it,” said Charles.
From that one idea, $1 turned into $7,000.
On the day of the fundraiser, a supporting crowd stood at the bottom to cheer Charlie on. There was big support from their apartment complex who came to watch him do the whole thing. Some even arrived an hour early.
Charlie successfully climbed eight flights of stairs by himself to accomplish his fundraising and personal goal.
“It was awesome. It brought tears to everybody’s eyes,” said Page.
With the money raised it was now time to start the process of ordering the bike.
A local rep visited Charlie and they rode a couple of bikes to get an idea of what fits well for Charlie. The Odyssey Series was the best choice.
“I told James I want it to be an extension of a Tesla, white with black rims,” said Charles.
Page designed the custom logo on the seat back.
“That entire process was wonderful,” said Charles.
Charles and Page both enjoy the seat and the back support it has. They say it’s not a typical bike but one that helps him have balance.
Charles likes the On/Off Pin Reciprocator which allows Charlie to coast when he gets tired.
“It allows him to pedal because the pedals go with the wheels and then as he gets tired, I can switch it to where you don’t have to pedal,” said Charles. “You can pedal little, and you can keep the pedals straight and it still rolls.”
Charles and Page also appreciate how quickly they can get Charlie on and off the bike.
“Everything seems to be thought out well regarding not only helping the child with disabilities but also helping the parents with speed,” said Charles.
To them, it doesn’t slow down the process of riding.
Page loves to see Charlie ride and feels like he’s so free when he’s on it.
Charlie is happy with a big smile on his face and loves being able to ride with his sister. He enjoys going downhill and feeling the wind on his face.
“We try not to limit anything in his life so we’re happy he’s able to have a bike that he can ride and feel special,” said Page.
Click here to learn more about Freedom Concepts’ adaptive trikes.
Charlie on his ASR16.
Charlie giving a thumbs up on his ASR16.