NORWOOD, Ohio -- Firefighters at the Norwood (Ohio) Fire Department are used to answering calls for help, but 12-year-old Mackenzie Trost sent them one they'd never received before: Please, help me find a bike I can ride.
That search isn't as simple for Trost as it might be for other children her age. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby and at six weeks of age experienced a stroke that would limit her mobility for the rest of her life.
"She's never had a bike," Stacy Trost, Mackenzie's mother, said. "But we've always tried to do different things where she could be outside."
Mackenzie just turned 12 years old, and she's getting a special gift from the Norwood Fire Dept. Hear her story, and more of that contagious laugh on @WCPO at 11! pic.twitter.com/0Rds7gIzjw
— Jake Ryle (@JakeWCPO) November 30, 2017
Mackenzie's family decided earlier this year to use social media as a tool to raise money for a custom bike outfitted with special additions that would allow her to ride it despite her limited range of motion. When members of the Norwood Fire Department saw it, they knew they had to do their part.
"It's an extension of what we do," firefighter Jeff Lackmeyer said. "It's not an emergency situation, but we're here to help."
The department's charity put $900 toward the cost of Mackenzie's special bicycle, guaranteeing she could have it in time for her birthday. They presented it to her Thursday and watched her take her first ride around the firehouse.
"It's always a great experience to see a kid who doesn't have the ability to ride a regular bike like some other kids get this and experience that for the first time," Lackmeyer said.
Mackenzie and her parents exchanged hugs with all of the firefighters who helped her wish come true.
"It's an amazing thing," Stacy Trost said. "Us thanking them will never be enough."
If you would like to enable more charitable giving on behalf of Norwood Fire, you can donate to their charity fund online.