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Girl Needs a Special Bike — Lemont Makes It Happen

One Lemont child will be able to ride bikes just like her friends—and she has Lemont to thank.

Christmas came early for one Lemont 6-year-old. 

Isabel Merrion just wants to be like every other kid her age, and be able to ride a bike. A bout with meningitis at 9 days old rendered her with limited mobility—and in need of an adaptive bike to accommodate her small body weakened by a stroke. 

Bikes like that don't come cheap, and her parents Jodi and Dan turned to the Lemont community to help pay for the $4,222 expenditure. The pair started a GoFundMe campaign in early November in hopes of raising the money to purchase the bike as a Christmas gift.

Lemont stepped up, and within two days, the money was raised. 

"I was very impressed, and I was shocked to raise it by the next day," said her mother, Jodi Merrion.

When Isabel was struck by meningitis, she suffered stroke-like symptoms, weakening her right side. She underwent surgery and requires constant assistance just to get through the day, her parents wrote.

"This bike will help her develop core strength that will make her dream of one day walking on her own closer to becoming reality," her parents wrote on the campaign homepage. "We just want Isabel and her brothers to be able to ride their bikes together as most families can."

The bike holds Isabel steady in her core while still allowing her to use her legs to pedal. The seat keeps her torso straight, keeping her from falling over and helping her build core strength.

"Isabel always needs something, so it is a huge burden off our shoulders to have so many people help her," her parents wrote. 

The Bike Rack in St. Charles had Isabel custom-fitted for the bike and delivered it in time for her to enjoy recent mild weather. 

"I am very thankful for my bike," Isabel said. "I love riding it. It is blue and fun."

(It even came in her favorite color.)

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A Sojka December 05, 2013 at 08:45 AM
What a terrific story showing the true meaning of the season. The smile on her is absolutely priceless. Merry Christmas Isabel!

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