Janesville student, social media help reunite girl, tricycle
8-year-old with special needs uses special cycle to help with muscle tone
JANESVILLE, Wis. — An 8-year-old girl with special needs was reunited with her tricycle Saturday after a high school student’s act of kindness.
“It broke my heart to know someone could take a bike away from a special needs child,” said Amanda Sangstu, the girl’s mother.
Shyianne Kruger loves riding her tricycle; she was diagnosed with autism before the age of 2 and suffers from low muscle tone.
The custom-made bike, made from parts of several other bicycles, helps her strengthen her muscles without the cost of physical therapy.
That’s why the family was devastated to learn the bike was stolen from their front yard, while they were home Friday night.
“Our emotions were everywhere on Saturday,” Swangstu said. “She was very, very stressed out all day long; wondering where her bike was at, when it was going to come home. And we did everything we could on Friday to keep her mind off of it.”
Shyianne’s parents John Kruger and Amanda Swangstu posted a message on Facebook, in hopes someone in the community would recognize the bike.
Two hundred Facebook likes and 24 hours later, their pleas for help paid off.
“All the comments and everything was just overwhelming, that people would come together like that,” John Kruger said. “It just makes you feel so good as a parent, that the community came together to help us find our daughter’s bike, even though they didn’t know her.”
Janesville Parker high school freshman, David Moore, said he saw three middle school students ditch the bike Saturday night.
Moore and his parents were driving through the area of Milwaukee Street and Atwood Avenue around 11 p.m. when he saw the three boys between dump the bike and take off running, Krueger said.
Moore called police and contacted Krueger through Facebook to notify him that the tricycle had been found.
The teen said he’s always wanted to do something good for somebody else.
“It feels really good, especially because I heard it brought tears to her eyes, it makes it more exciting,” said Moore.
Krueger and Swangstu waited until they had the bike back in their possession to surprise their daughter, creating an emotional reunion for the whole family.
“The minute she saw her bike she was screaming, crying and jumping up and down saying ‘my bike, my bike, it’s home,'” Swangstu said. “It was tears of joy that night when the bike came home.”