An 8-Year-Old Boy’s Ride to Happiness

autism therapy bike contest winner

ABC’s Action News in Brandon, Florida helped a mother of two win a bike that is also a remarkable therapeutic device for one of her sons.

For many families, learning to ride a bike is a childhood tradition. As adults, some of us can reminisce about the times we rode around on our bikes with the other neighborhood kids and going on adventures before we had to rush home for dinner.

But for 8-year-old Cameron, this pastime posed a bigger obstacle. He has severe autism and Potocki-Lupski syndrome (a rare genetic disorder). According to his mother Mary, they are in a constant struggle with the disorder every single day.

The boy’s functionality is comparable to a 2-year-old and considered to be nonverbal as he can only say about 15 words. His parents do provide an iPad which helps him to communicate with others but there is still much more Cameron wants to be a part of. Mary devotes all of her spare time and resources to helping her son by seeing specialists and therapists but there is still something that none of them can give Cameron. He wanted badly to join his little brother playing outside with other kids.

In February 2015, Mary contacted her local news station, The Now Tampa Bay, asking for help to win a contest. She had discovered the non-profit organization, Friendship Circle, who were hosting their 4th annual Great Bike Giveaway. The prize was a therapeutic tricycle specially designed for people with disabilities which typically costs about $1,200. Like many families, this expense was not within their budget. Cameron needs lots of physical therapy due to his low muscle tone and challenges with balance and coordination. This bike would help tremendously with all of that by building his muscle strength and development.

Cameron did end up winning the bike after receiving a whopping 3,000 votes from around the world. The family is overjoyed and wants to thank everyone who participated in making their son’s dream come true. Cameron’s parents believe the bike will give their son the freedom, confidence, and independence to play outside with his little brother and other children.

To view the original article by ABC Action news, click here.

Written by Raiza Belarmino