Delaware nonprofit gifts new bike to teen with autism following theft from home

Charles Watson Image
Tuesday, June 11, 2024 5:43AM
Nonprofit gifts new bike to teen following theft from home
Delaware nonprofit gifts new bike to teen with autism following theft from home

NEW CASTLE COUNTY, Delaware (WPVI) -- A New Castle County special needs teen was all smiles after he received a new tricycle following the theft of his original bike in May.

Friends of Fusion Foundation, a nonprofit that supports organizations that tend to children, young adults and first responders in Delaware, gifted a new adaptive bike Monday to a 19-year-old with autism.

Bryce Broody, who faithfully rode his original yellow tricycle prior to it being stolen, took little time to warm up to his new set of wheels. When he saw it, he quickly went over to the bike to give it a smell test, pressing on the tires to make sure they were properly filled with air. Once everything checked out for Bryce, he hopped on and took the bike for a ride.

READ MORE: Special bike belonging to teen with autism stolen from backyard of Delaware home

It was a joyful moment for his mother, Paula Broody, who said it often takes Bryce a little time to get acclimated to new things.

"We're very, very happy that he's actually adjusting to the new bike," Paula said.

"We don't get to do a lot of things like a traditional family, so for us, the bike is a big deal."

Paula said the crime happened in May. She had been driving home on Governor Printz Boulevard when she said she witnessed two juveniles riding away from her home.

The teens were riding bikes belonging to both her and her 19-year-old son, Bryce. She said the theft slowed down the family's outings because it's really challenging for Bryce to walk for long periods of time.

"This bike, it was built for Bryce, so we can work on safety, awareness, social skills, and give him the opportunity to do some type of sport with us," she said.

The nonprofit, Preston's March for Energy, gifted Bryce the bike back in 2018. So, when its founder Deb Buenaga said she was being tagged in a New Castle County Police Facebook post about the bike, she jumped into action trying to figure who the victim was.

"The minute somebody tagged me on Facebook that his bike was stolen, I immediately contacted the police," Buenaga said.

She eventually figured out Bryce was the victim of the bike theft. Buenaga said she reached out to Friends of Fusion Foundation, which acted quickly, setting up a vote among board members to rectify the situation.

"We said we need to replace the bike and unanimously approved it," Jeffrey Leggett, president of Friends of Fusion Foundation said.

"It's freeing for them to be on a bike. They're not restricted by anything and it's just a great feeling all around."

Although she said their time without Bryce's bike was difficult, Paula said she was ready to put it in the past so she could focus on Bryce's happiness.

"Today, I just feel so happy and kind of forget about what happened two weeks ago," she said.