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College students help girl get tricycle

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DALLAS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WOLF) -- Students at Misericordia University put on a show to help an 8-year-old girl from Drums get a special bike.

Juliann Tompkins suffers from a rare disease called Cockayne syndrome, and her mom says it could kill her by her 12th birthday.

She hasn't been able to ride a bike, but now with this special new tricycle, they can go on family outings together, and have more special time with her outside.

Her mom says the Valley Elementary/Middle School student is already losing the ability to crawl, and their insurance company had denied the bike.

"We had to go through two appeal processes which we were both denied for, saying it's not medically necessary," says mom Christina Tompkins. "They said that Juliann could ride a typical bicycle. As you can see, Juliann can't walk on her own and she does have disabilities, and she only crawls, so this bike is medically necessary for her."

A club on campus for people interested in speech pathology and related careers, NSSLHA, found out about Juliann while volunteering with the Brighter Journeys organization.

Today, they raised at least $3,800 for Brighter Journeys, which purchased the $900 trike for Juliann, according to Misericordia sophomore and NSSLHA club president Elizabeth Heinmiller.

The money raised at the concert will also help other kids with special needs.

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