The Flyers Alumni Association's "Every Child Deserves a Bike" program was created in 2020. The program builds and donates fully customized adaptive bicycles for special needs children in the Delaware Valley. 

Getting our first bike, and learning to ride it, is a rite of passage: our first mode of independent transportation, something shared with family and friends. It’s a shared experience across many different cultures.

In the case of children with special needs, however, a bicycle is too often something that’s “only for other kids.”

Physical barriers and/or socioeconomic obstacles can make it impossible for these children to share in this cherished experience of youth. Adaptive bicycles built specifically for the specialized needs of children with physical and/our neurological challenges are cost-prohibitive for many families. Such bicycles can cost roughly $5,000 to $7,500 or more, entirely out of pocket.

In partnership with Help Hope Live, the Flyers Alumni have donated more than two dozen adaptive bicycles to date in the four years since "Every Child Deserves a Bike" was created.  The first presentation was on Dec. 24, 2020, to Lucy Brooks of Springfield, Pa. Lucy, at the time, was five years old.

Help Hope Live selects recipients who could most benefit from the device from a quality of life and physical therapy standpoint. The Alumni subsequently order the bike to be built to the child's exact specifications and needed accommodations before presenting it in person to the recipient and his or her family. 

On April 16, 2024, prior to the Flyers’ regular season finale at the Wells Fargo Center against the Washington Capitals, Flyers Alumni Association president Brad Marsh presented nine-year-old Dylan McDonnell of Deptford, NJ, with his own adaptive bike.

At the age of two, Dylan was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder that progressively causes loss of muscle. For him, an adaptive bike can be of enormous benefit in terms of promoting greater independent mobility.

"Doing these presentations is something we always look forward to," Marsh said. "We see the joy it brings to the kids and their families. As time goes by, we hear about what a difference it makes in these young people's lives."

Last year, the Philadelphia Business Journal recognized the partnership between the Flyers Alumni and Help Hope Live with a "Faces of Philanthropy" award.  On Oct. 26, 2023, Marsh received the Rainey Award from Help Hope Live itself for his tireless work on the “Every Child Deserves a Bike” program.

The ECDAB program is funded through a combined generosity of sponsor  support and private donations from Flyers fans.  To learn more about making a donation in any amount click here:

To learn more about Dylan McDonnell's journey, click here for his Help Hope Live campaign: