By Dillon Thomas

LAFAYETTE, Colo. (CBS4) – A Colorado teenager with autism has started a new chapter of exploring her community, with the help of a customized bicycle.

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Sarah Marshall and her family received their bike via Colorado-based Two Angels Foundation, which approved their request for a grant.

Tim and Julie Marshall told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas their daughter quickly came to love her new bike and all it could do.

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“As soon as we even say ‘let’s go ride,’ she really starts jumping up and down,” Tim said.

Sarah runs to the bike on her own, sits down, and waits for someone to strap her in. From there, she has learned to peddle the bike. However, from behind, friends and family can push and steer the bicycle if need be.

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The bike has three wheels, and Sarah has already shown understanding of how to steer it herself.

“It is such a special bike,” Julie said.

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The family said the bike gave them the ability to take family cycling trips to the park, something they always dreamed of. Sarah enjoys riding the bike, and later swinging at the park.

Her younger sister also frequently asks for the opportunity to push Sarah to the park.

“That is a good bonding thing for her and her older sister,” Tim said.

“This bike has changed her life,” said Thayer Hubbard, one of Sarah’s friends. “With Sarah, she gets so excited about the littlest things, and it radiates happiness.”

The family said the grant from Two Angels gave them not only more abilities to explore with their daughter, but it also brought more joy to her life.

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They hoped the bike would also serve as a tool for socializing for their daughter. They encouraged anyone who sees the bike to approach them, say hi, and ask about it.

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They also hoped their story would encourage others in similar situations to continue applying for grants, until their wishes are met.

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Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.