Taking care of Andrew and his friends

Seven years ago, when their son first started having seizures, Dean and Amy Kriebel found that their finances were stretched to the limit due to hospital bills and special adaptive equipment for young Andrew.

“Just after his first birthday, he had his first seizure,” Dean Kriebel said. “Things spun out of control from there.”

Today, with Andrew’s illness diagnosed and under control, the Kriebels want to make sure that no special-needs child goes without the care he or she requires.

The DuBoistown couple founded the Andrew’s Special Kids Foundation, an organization which funds equipment and other supplies for children with disabilities throughout the area. The foundation will hold the sixth annual DuBoistown Dice Run motorcycle rally on June 20 to raise money to support its cause.

Last year, about 300 riders participated in the event, but this year, Dean Kriebel said he is “expecting it to be bigger.”

Registration is $15, and takes place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on the day of the ride at the DuBoistown VFW, Post 7863, 150 Shaffer St., in the borough.

The 65-mile ride begins and ends at the VFW, and motorcyclists can leave the site and start the ride any time after they register.

Following the ride, there will be other activities for participants and the public to enjoy.

“We’re going to have a catered meal from Humdinger, a live band and over 100 prizes,” Dean Kriebel said.

Raffle prizes include items donated from area businesses.

The Kriebels said that while their son’s name is attached to the Dice Run and the foundation, none of the money goes toward Andrew himself; all money raised goes toward helping other families throughout the area.

“We do this for other kids, in (Andrew’s) honor,” Amy Kriebel said.

Andrew, who now is 8 years old, was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called Angelman syndrome when he was 5. He is prone to seizures and functions at a 1-year-old level, according to his parents. Angelman syndrome also has given him a mouthing disorder, an unsteady gait and a dangerously high level of fearlessness, among other symptoms.

Over the years, the foundation that bears Andrew’s name has helped area children, through the purchase of specially adapted equipment, expensive medical tests and therapeutic treatments and equipment, among other things.

“(The foundation) pays for things when a kid needs something and can’t afford it,” Dean Kriebel said.

The group also has made donations to other organizations that assist children with special needs, such as the Children’s Development Center of Lycoming County.

Since its founding, Andrew’s Special Kids Foundation has raised more than $100,000 for area children, according to the Kriebels.

Amy Kriebel said the foundation’s work is important because there are a large number of children who are trying to lead normal lives despite their disabilities.

“There’s a lot of kids who need things,” she said.

Requests for more information on the Dice Run, monetary donations or applications for funding can be mailed to Andrew’s Special Kids Foundation, P.O. Box 5071, South Williamsport, PA 17702-0871.


WHAT: Sixth annual DuBoistown Dice Run

WHEN: June 20; registration from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

WHERE: DuBoistown VFW Post 7863, 150 Shaffer St.

COST: $15, to benefit Andrew’s Special Kids Foundation

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