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FREEDOM ON TWO WHEELS

Klee was bullied out of her hometown school but, thanks to some supportive teachers and a new bicycle, she’s enjoying life again.

“Klee has ADHD and is an easy target for local bullies,” explains mum Kirsty. “She had to move schools, because she was being bullied so much. It was so bad that she couldn’t even walk to the dairy without being abused.” This sad tale hurts every child involved and is unfortunately not unique in New Zealand. Kirsty says that Klee felt as though she was suffering blow after blow after blow at a time in her life when she was trying to find herself. “She’s already been through so much; she’s got anxiety; she suffers from panic attacks; and she’s being seen by ICAMS (Infant Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service). She just has not been able to catch a break.” Her new school has been helpful and provides counselling and a peer support worker, which has improved her overall performance. Klee loves being outside, and was always an active kid, but hasn’t been able to get out much over the past few years. “She used to love being on her bicycle,” explains Kirsty. “But she outgrew it and we never replaced it. She used to be in a running group for kids around the area but then she started having panic attacks and seizures, so she had to stop.” Satan’s Little Helper couldn’t stand by and do nothing, so we set her up with a new bike, a helmet and a bike lock. “Klee has been active since day dot and she’s been super stoked to get her bike. When it arrived, she couldn’t open it because we needed to wait for her dad to get home and assemble it, she was vibrating with excitement the whole day!” Klee says she had no idea she’d been nominated for Satan’s Little Helper – and loves her new bike. “I was shocked and happy at the same time! I’ve been riding a lot and going on longer and longer rides. “I really missed being on a bike. It makes me feel a lot safer, because I can get away from the bullying.” “ We live near a lake with a walking track and she goes around there,” says Kirsty. “It’s a massive help for her mental health. Her dad is thinking about getting a bike to go with her and that will allow them to have some more quality father-daughter time.” A new bike won’t help Klee magic her troubles away, but if it makes her feel just a tiny bit better, it’s definitely worth it!

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