New bike helps local girl with Down syndrome keep up with brother, friends

Cayenne Cameron, 8, poses with the bike she won from the Great Bike Giveaway.

KEYSER, W.Va. — A local 8-year-old is pedaling with her brother and friends after winning a specialized bike through a national contest.

Cayenne Cameron, a first-grader at Keyser Primary School, has Down syndrome, a developmental and intellectual genetic disorder.

“For years, we have watched her struggle with being able to ride a regular two-wheel bike with training wheels,” said her mother, Jennifer Cameron. “She has very low muscle tone and just wasn’t able to pedal and have the coordination to turn properly.”

Cayenne had open heart surgery when she was 14 months old to repair holes in her heart and has been doing great ever since, her mother said. She still struggles with endurance. 

About a year ago, Jennifer said she came across a website that specializes in information for special needs children. Frienshipcircle.org was running a contest called the Great Bike Giveaway, which allowed 600 kids to apply to win a new bike. The Camerons had about a month to compile votes and donations and raise awareness on Facebook and Twitter.

“Needless to say, I worked very hard to get as many of my friends and family involved to spread the word for Cayenne to win a special needs bike,” Jennifer said.

There were a number of bike categories to pick from and, although Cayenne’s 1,000 votes weren’t enough to win the contest, she still won a new bike by raffle drawing.

Cayenne’s new bike arrived about two weeks ago. It’s valued at about $1,200.

“We are so excited to finally see her get to play and keep up with her brother and friends,” Jennifer said.

About 160 of the 600 children entered in the contest received new bicycles. Money is being raised to provide them to the children who didn’t.

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