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Rockville teen gets custom recumbent bike thanks to nonprofit

Luke O'Neil, 19, has a genetic condition called DYRK1A which makes him unique.

ROCKVILLE, Md. — A 19-year-old Rockville man got a custom recumbent bike thanks to the folks at the Safeway Foundation and the nonprofit Preston’s March for Energy.

The bike was made specifically for Luke O'Neil. According to Luke's father, he has a special genetic condition called DYRK1A that makes him unique. Luke is passionate about protecting wolves and has his own YouTube channel.

His mother said that when Luke was younger, he participated in a learn to ride program, and family members learned to spot him. His parents took turns with him on a school track, but it was not ideal or a safe option after a point. With his new recumbent bike, Luke will be able to ride his bike with his family.

Funding for the specially designed bike was provided by the Safeway Foundation and Preston's March for Energy.

The mission of Preston’s March for Energy is to provide children with special needs access to freedom, fun, and physical exercise that an adaptive bike offers, promoting inclusion, and educating both those they serve and the community regarding the importance of physical fitness in the special needs population.

Preston is a young man with Mitochondrial Disease, which leaves him with low muscle tone and developmental delays. He tires easily and has balance issues. In 2011 Preston received an adaptive bike donated to him through a fundraiser. Preston's family was determined to “pay it forward” by raising money (each bike costs between $1,400 and $2,500) for more children to realize their dream of riding their own bike.

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