Beatrice Ostrowski is a happy, active and playful 4-year-old who needs a special bike so she can get around better on her own when she’s at school or out with her family.

Now, she’s a K3 student at West Ridge, and her mom, Laura, said she loves going to school and being around all the other kids.  Laura entered Beatrice into a contest through The Friendship Circle to win a Rifton adaptive tricycle that determines a winner based on how many times family, friends and members of the community vote for her.

Click here to cast your vote: https://www.friendshipcircle.org/bikes/2016/03/beatrice-o/. Voting closes at noon on March 30.

The bike is designed to grow with the child, and Laura thinks it will fit Beatrice for the next three or four years. Until she gets a bike, Beatrice uses a wheelchair to get around at school.

“She loves school and loves other kids,” Laura said. “She really thrives around people, and she loves to sing, but she doesn’t like other people to sing. She tells me to stop!”

We first met Beatrice Ostrowski two years ago when she was a bright, happy and active two-year-old who needed help getting around because doctors thought she had a form of hydrocephalus that prevented her from walking. Laura entered her into the same contest then, but Beatrice wasn’t chosen, and they skipped the 2015 opportunity.

“We took a year off because it’s kind of an emotional roller coaster,” Laura said. “You’re in first place, then you’re in third, back to first … it can be hard … and then when you don’t win, we just thought we’d sit out a year.”

Additional testing revealed that Beatrice suffers from the very rare Poretti- Boltshauser Syndrome, a mutation of the Lama1 gene, which affects her ability to walk and her eyesight.

“It’s a complicated condition because even kids who have the same mutation aren’t affected in the same ways,” Laura explained. “The brain forms and grows to match the child so what happens with one kid doesn’t necessarily happen with another child.”

Other kids who have been diagnosed with Poretti-Boltshauser are walking, and Laura is hopeful that Beatrice will, too, one day, but even if she doesn’t, Laura knows there’s no stopping her little girl.

“She’s very determined,” Laura continued. “It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t walk because she’ll go on to do whatever she wants to do.”

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