Dreams Come True surprises girl with new bike

Presentation marks organization’s 100th dream granted in 2022


Dreams Come True, a local wish-granting organization for children battling life-threatening illnesses, surprised 11-year-old Amaya Harken of Ponte Vedra with a new Freedom Concept tricycle during a special June 4 gathering at Twenty Mile Post in Nocatee.

Amaya is the 100th child whose dream has been granted in 2022 through the organization.

Before COVID-19, Dreams Come True fulfilled approximately 175 dreams per year. The organization is projecting to fulfill more than 200 dreams before the end of 2022, which will be the highest year of dream fulfillment in the organization’s 38-year history.

Joining Dreams Come True for the celebration were several dream families and community partner Ainsley’s Angels, a nonprofit whose mission is focused on building awareness about the importance of inclusion, through action, while transforming populations into all-inclusive communities.

Together, everyone walked and rolled around Twenty Mile Post with Amaya leading the way in her new dream bike. The special celebration ended with a doughnut cake from Cinotti’s Bakery and medals for all the finishers.

“I never thought it would be possible for her to ride,” said Michelle Harken, Amaya’s mom. “I did not think they would have a bike that would be adaptable for her. For me, this is just eye opening for her to have this experience and have this piece to help her grow and get stronger. We are so appreciative for all Dreams Come True has done for us to get Amaya this bike and be with us through this journey. This will truly last for a very long time.”

Amaya was referred to Dreams Come True after being diagnosed with a rare, gene-liked brain malformation, called lissencephaly. Amaya also suffers from additional conditions, such as cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder. She is wheelchair dependent, so mobility has always been something that has eluded Amaya. Her new Freedom Concept tricycle will give Amaya a sense of freedom and fill her summer days with long strolls in the park and neighborhood.

The celebration for Amaya also served as a kickoff to Dreams Come True’s 5K and one-mile fun run on Sept. 24 at the University of North Florida’s Coxwell Amphitheatre. Her ride around Twenty Mile Post in Nocatee was an example of how the organization is encouraging everyone to come walk, run or roll with them at UNF to raise money for the more than 600 children currently dreaming in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.

Since 1984, Dreams Come True has been using the power of a dream to bring hope and joy to local children in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia battling life-threatening illnesses. To date, more than 4,300 children have seen their dreams turned into realities.

To learn more, go to DreamsComeTrue.org.  


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