SAN ANTONIO -

Malerie Pena, age 2, already had taken a special tricycle for an amazing test ride despite her cerebral palsy.

"She doesn't walk or crawl, but she pedals that bike," said Elena De La Cruz, Malerie's grandmother. "She did it on her own! I couldn't believe it!"

The $3,000 adaptive tricycle was an early Christmas gift from Cinemark Theaters and Variety, the Children's Charity of Texas.

"This is our basic purpose: to help with the part of life that people take for granted," said Randy Hester, the charity's president and CEO.

Hester said in cases with special needs children like Malerie's, it was the gift of mobility.

He said the tricycle -- designed just for her -- makes the most of her muscle strength once her feet are securely fastened.

"All they have to do is just push and the pedals pull back to keep going," Hester said.

Everyone gathered in the lobby of the Cinemark Theater near 410 and Evers applauded and laughed as Malerie went by, her face beaming.

After awhile, her grandmother didn't have to push.

"She's very determined to learn a lot of things," De La Pena said. " We are very grateful."

For a list of recent stories Jessie Degollado has done, click here.