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Why this paralyzed Virginia veteran dedicated his life to giving kids with disabilities the ability to move.

Posted at 4:30 PM, May 17, 2024

RICHMOND, Va. -- REACHcycles and its mission of giving kids with disabilities the ability to move celebrates its 10th anniversary on Sunday.

REACHcycles started in 2014 as a gift to James Howard.

The veteran was medically retired in 2010 due to multiple combat and training injuries.

He was given his own adapted bike in 2014 to participate in a disabled veterans cycle event. The gift would open to him a whole new world.

"It was just a newfound freedom, and independence that just helped me so much during my recovery process," James Howard explained to CBS 6's Cameron Thompson.

Shortly after that gift, James' mother, Nancy, founded a nonprofit to provide similar bikes around Lynchburg.

James would take over the foundation and expand it to Richmond wanting to pass along the feeling that he got.

"We all remember the first time we got a bike, you know, that -- just the joy," Howard stated. "You know, somebody's kids never get to experience that."

For six-year-old Milo Enders and his dad Stephen, that experience came in 2019 when Milo was just over a year old.

"I've never seen my child smile so strongly when we got on that bike," Stephen Enders remembered. "I've heard people say that when your kid gets a bike, they get very excited for their first one. It's not something we ever thought we would get with Milo."

The Enders are just one of the more than 1,000 donations that the foundation has made in the last decade. A milestone James Howard never imagined.

"Just been extremely grateful for the opportunity and the privilege to be a part of all of it," Howard said.

As the nonprofit gets ready to celebrate its first decade and get ready for another, Howard said he hoped to be able to keep up with the demand and can deliver more moments to kids like Milo.

REACHcycles is holding its ten-year celebration at AMF Bakery from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

At the event, they will be giving away 24 bikes to preselected families.

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