Waterloo boy hit by car and others receive special bikes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo boy hit by car and others receive special bikes

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Leighton strong, yet again. Young Leighton Pullin celebrated his 8th Birthday with a big surprise tonight.

Leighton Pullin was hit by a truck last year and has been on a long road to recovery ever since. Tonight, he was chosen as one of four special children to receive bikes made to fit their specific needs. High-fives and some big smiles one the faces of four deserving children getting as they received their special bikes.

"When we saw those smiles. When the kids got the bikes for the first time, it changes their life," said VGM CEO Mike Mallaro.

It is a change these families are only beginning to imagine. Thanks to the donation, 10-year-old Nia Jones can now keep up with her siblings.

"It is such a relief. Her little brothers and sisters play outside all the time, but she doesn't really have anything to ride except a scooter, so this is definitely going to change the summer for us," said Nia's father Francisco Jones.

For Leighton, the bike was the highlight of his 8th Birthday. The crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to him as he got on the bike for the first time.

"So happy that he gets it. I can't tell you how happy, especially on his birthday," said an emotional Kathy Harrington, Leighton's grandmother.

 It was an emotional moment for the families, but through the eyes of Leighton and the other kids, the moment was pure joy.

"So excited that I am going to take off," said Leighton.

The 8-year-old taking off and not stopping.

"I am cruising," yelled Leighton as he pedaled his bike down a hill.

The presentation of the bikes was part of VGM's annual conference -- which brings hundreds to Waterloo.

"VGM is seen as a mecca for home medical equipment and home care. People recognize that all over the country and they like to come here. VGM puts on a heavy dose of Iowa hospitality when they are here," said Mallaro.

The bikes were donated by VGM and Variety Children's Charity.

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