The inspiration behind Bike Camp

Each year the Lydia Cox Memorial Bike Camp helps 40 kids with disabilities learn how to ride a convential two-wheel bike – an important milestone in any child’s life. In this week’s blog, Suzie Cox talks about why the bike camp was started and why it’s so important to keep it going.

Lydia Faith Cox was born February 15, 2006 and passed away October 25, 2009.  She taught us all so much in the three short years we were blessed to have her with us. The small milestones she achieved brought such joy. The day did come that she was able to walk, communicate and play with her brothers, cousins, grandparents, mom and dad. OH! How proud she was when she learned to walk on her own. She had such determination and perseverance, not even falling down would stop her. She had that ability to not give up and accomplished whatever small or large task it was she was trying to achieve.

Lydia’s determination is why her family chose hosting a bike camp as a way to honor her and keep her “don’t give up” spirit with us. She would have learned to ride that bike and given us that beautiful smile when she did it on her own. She would have been just as proud to see her peers learn along with her, urging them, “Do not give up. Keep going! We can do this together!”

We founded The Lydia Faith Cox Family Foundation after her death in 2009. The money raised from the foundation’s golf tournament, originally hosted by Keith Louis, would no longer go towards medical needs. Rather, this money would be used to help children with Down syndrome and other disabilities learn to ride a two wheel bike through the Lose the Training Wheels method developed by Dr. Richard E. Klein. The foundation raised $11,000 in its first year as a 501(c)3 charitable organization, and that money went to the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis to host the Lydia Cox Memorial Bike Camp.

As Lydia’s mother, I look forward to this week all year.  The joy on the faces of 40 kids and parents as they reach the end of the week and achieve a milestone most of them never thought would happen is priceless.  To see them outside zipping around on a brand new bike, riding on two wheels, laughing and yelling, “Mom, Dad, look at me!”  makes the fundraising, volunteer searching and everything that goes in to organizing the camp worth it.  If you have never experienced a bike camp, please volunteer or come by and visit.

This year’s camp is scheduled for June 3 – 7 at South Technical High School. Through the foundation’s support, the Down Syndrome As
sociation is able to partner with iCan Shine (formerly Lose the Training Wheels) and its bike program, iCan Bike, to host this extraordinary camp in St. Louis every year in Lydia’s honor.

For more information about Bike Camp or to volunteer,
visit: http://dsagsl.org/programs-resources/educational-programming/.