Well my friends I have a feel good story for you that will warm your heart. Little Buddy got a brand new bike and it is amazing! But there is more to it than that. I have been trying for months to get a new bike for him paid for by his insurance. I went to the top of the top, and even though he needs this for endurance, trunk control, balance, visual orientation, lower extremity use and independent function they would not pay for it. Here is the thing, special needs bikes are super expensive. You can't go to the local bike store or even your local Walmart and buy one. You can if you are an adult, but not a child with special needs.
I was talking to a woman who is helping us with Little Buddy's subsidy and while I was talking about his need for a new bike, his need for a new bed which has to be lower than a regular bed and has to have a really good mattress for his tight muscles, and while I discussed how much his special needs camp will be this summer, twice the amount it was last year, so we are restricted in the weeks we can afford for him to go. While I was upset about how much this will all cost, when I am not working as much and paying my babysitter twice as much because my boy is home from school due to the Coronavirus and we all have to work...............well she had an idea.
She told me about an organization that helps children in foster care or who have been adopted out of the foster care system get one item they need. It is called One Simple Wish and it works with children throughout the country. She contacted her friend who runs the organization and then asked me to submit a photo and a little background information about my sweet boy. So I did. I checked their Facebook page a few times but I am not a big Facebook user so I did not keep checking. It seemed that there were emergencies for kids needing laptops and tablets due to online schooling from the Coronavirus. Little Buddy was not an emergency. So you can imagine my shock when I got home from work last Tuesday and there was a big box in my garage. I opened it and saw the most beautiful blue bike.
My husband put this beauty together on Sunday with a little help from Mr 26. It is a wonderful tricycle that actually rides like a real bike. The pedals are hooked up to the chain and your legs have to move independently of each other unlike a tricycle whose pedals are hooked up to the front wheel. When that wheel moves the pedals move so you don't have to use your legs independently of each other, your legs keep moving as long as the wheel is moving. Little Buddy was so excited to try his new bike but it was really hard and he just could not get that right leg of his to move up and over the rotation of the pedal, it just kept getting stuck. He had a complete meltdown and said he never wanted to ride his bike again. After talking about working on things that are hard, practicing until you get it, which might take some time, and a nice break he decided to try again.
We went outside and my friends he did it! He rode 3-4 rotations at a time with help getting his right leg to move only at the beginning of the ride. I screamed so loud the first time he did it he almost fell off the bike! Since that ride on Sunday afternoon he has improved so much. He can ride it two and a half times around our cul-de-sac without stopping. He is even starting to start his ride with no help if his right leg is not at the top of the pedaling cycle. He is getting so much stronger and he is so, so proud of himself, as we all are. Riding a bike is so hard to do for a child who has cerebral palsy. You have to make those legs work independently of each other, especially your weaker side. You have to balance on the seat, control your trunk and head, hold onto the handle bars with both hands, even your weaker hand, visually attend to where you are going, and you have to have the endurance and strength to keep going. He is amazing and getting stronger every time he rides it.
There are such good people out there in this complicated world of ours. As I did not know he was even on their site I have no idea who contributed to help him get this bike. The day after it arrived I made a nice contribution to help other kids in need. It is the least I can do. All I know is that someone out there, or many someones out there helped my special boy get something he so deserves, and helped to ease some of the financial issues that we have to give him the life he so deserves.
This amazing bike is such a blessing to him and our entire family. It is good for him therapeutically but will also make him feel more like a normal child, just out riding his bike like other kids do. It will last him years and years because it is positioned at the very smallest it can be and has room for lots and lots of growth. It is our feel good story of the year. Well actually Little Buddy and his perseverance in all he does in life is our feel good story every year.
I hope this story has warmed your heart as much as it has mine. I feel like crying every time I think of how strangers have helped my son. I hope my contribution, in some small way, will help other children to be as happy as my Little One.
If you are interested in One Simple Wish just click on the link and you will be directed to their website.
Stay safe and well my friends.