Philadelphia Flyers Alumni donates bike to child with special needs

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Flyers are scoring big smiles off the ice.

Former defenseman Brad Marsh and Flyers alumni have been donating adaptive bikes to children with special needs.

The latest recipient, 9-year-old Fairless Hills Native Anthony DeCristoforo.

"I love it more than the whole universe," said DeCristoforo. "Plus the bell!"

His mother, Lisa DeCristoforo said, "It's awesome. It's the best feeling in the world especially after he went through it. He really had it rough when he got sick."

In 2017, DeCristoforo came down with a virus that attacked his spine and left him partially paralyzed.

He spent four months in the hospital diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis.

"They didn't know what was happening. His whole body was shutting down, so they didn't know if he would live. It was very scary," Lisa DeCristoforo said.

This is now a much happier time. This bike, customized with Flyers logos and even a hockey stick for a brake, will help his partially paralyzed right leg and spirits.

"When you make someone smile like this, it's awesome. Plus, he loves the Flyers, we love that part too," said former Flyer Bob Kelly.

The goal for the Flyers alumni is to donate one bike a month to a child in need. A bike like this costs between $5,000 to $7,000 to build.

While the Flyers cover the cost, fans can also donate and help by going to flyersalumni.net.

"When a child has special needs they can't ride a normal bike, so for them to get on a bike they can actually pedal, it's really neat," said Flyers Alumni President and former Flyer Brad Marsh. "This is just one step to get them out on the road. It's really good for them mentally for these kids."

The Flyers started this campaign "Every Child Deserves a Bike" in December and they want to keep this initiative rolling, with Help Hope Live, a nonprofit organization, who finds families and children in need.
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