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Yankee Players Give a Brooklyn Child with Special Needs the Bike He Needs

Yankee Players Give a Brooklyn Child with Special Needs the Bike He Needs

As part of their HOPE week, the team made the child’s day with a new bike

Yankee members teamed up to present 14-year-old Kiko Mina with a bike created by AdaptAbility, a business specializing in producing bikes for people with special needs, according to an article from Spectrum News. Sandra Alfonzo, who owns the bicycle shop Behind Bars, invented AdaptAbility after training for a marathon in Prospect Park and watching a child in a wheelchair longingly watch another child riding a bike.

“If every customer of Behind Bars in Brooklyn donated 25¢ every time they are getting a flat tire fixed and Behind Bars in Brooklyn matched the donation with another 25¢, in one season, the store could raise enough money for at least one adaptive bicycle,” Alfonzo wrote on her website. “We believe special needs children should be able to bike as much as any other child. A family’s income, residence and transportation shouldn’t be a reason for them not to ride a bicycle. Through AdaptAbility, communities, including businesses, their customers, and neighbors who may want to bring joy to a special needs child, can contribute by Donating.”

Team manager Aaron Boone and various players showed up to Behind Bars to surprise Mina, who was born with a right brain bigger than his left, which causes frequent seizures. By the time he was seven months old, he had already endured four surgeries. Doctors had to remove the right hemisphere of his brain and predicted he had one year to live, according to an article from Pix.

"There are times when he's having trouble doing homework my husband would say, let's take this with a grain of salt because everyday is like a bonus," Kiko's mother Lina said.

Mina was thrilled to receive a new bike from the Yankees, which he later took for a ride through a local park.

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"All I knew was that I was just going to get the bike," Mina said. "I didn't know this was going to happen, all the reporters were going to be here."

So far Alfonzo has helped modify about a dozen bikes for kids and adults like Kiko, and she says there is no feeling like it.

"It's the best experience in your life," she said. "It's not only because you're helping somebody, it's because you are giving hope to somebody else."

This was all a part of Yankees HOPE week, an annual tradition where team members perform acts of goodwill throughout New York City.

"It's a really cool week for a lot of people around the area," said Yankee Infielder DJ LeMahieu. "You know, we don't get a whole lot of opportunities to help people, but when we do it means a lot. And I'm just glad that everyone on our team could be a part of something."

Outfielder Cameron Maybin says giving back was a meaningful experience for him as well. "Things like this give you goosebumps and I'm excited we can use our platform and let these families know how much we care, and how we want to see them involved and happy."

LeMahieu says bike riding is a childhood memory that every child should have.

"I lived in a neighborhood where I could bike to all my buddies' houses, so a lot of memories on a bike for sure," he said.

Kiko’s mother expressed how she believes the new bike will change Kiko’s life for the better.

"You know, when you're special needs you always feel like you don't belong and earning friends is a challenge," she said. "In the neighborhood he sees children biking and he just looks at them–and to be part of it is amazing. Now he can bike with them. So it really means a lot because then he'll really have that feeling of belongingness. It's super."