Alijah Webber has been unable to move his legs after a car wreck 10 years ago, but all he’s wanted to do is ride a bicycle.
"He wants to do everything he sees a normal kid, any other kid do,” said Anthony Webber, Alijah’s dad. "He has the drive and determination to do everything a normal kid does, just with his limitations it’s kind of hard."
He wants to feel that carefree feeling.
"It's really freeing, it's really just empowering to just, especially for kids, it's one of the first ways they have to get around on their own, and go where they want to go, and there's just a fun aspect to riding with the wind in your hair and on your face, it's just awesome," said Chris Donahue with Bicycle Sport Shop.
It's all 12-year-old Alijah has ever wanted to do.
"This is the bike that I want to get right here,” said Alijah as he pointed to a bicycle in the bike shop window.
But Webber was in a car wreck at just 3-years-old.
"Someone actually ran a red light and hit them,” said Webber.
Webber told KVUE Alijah had a stroke, was in ICU, and on life support. Eventually, he was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and cerebral palsy.
Without movement in his legs, he hasn't been able to pedal a bicycle, hasn't been able to experience that carefree feeling.
But the nonprofit Hope4Minds wanted to change that.
They presented him with an adaptive bike, that he can use his arms to pedal.
A little nervous, Alijah climbed onto the seat.
But a smile quickly appeared, ear to ear.
"This will give him that independence and that freedom to go ride his bike with his friends and family,” said Ronda Johnson with Hope4Minds.
She was thrilled to see the moment Alijah took off.
"Part of our mission is to enrich the lives on children with a brain injury, so for us, this is enriching his life, this is him being able to be a child, and to be able to do the things that children do,” said Johnson.
"I'm just thankful that he can be you know, feel normal,” said Webber.
It's a sight his dad never thought he would see.
"I get pretty emotional when I see my son....that he, you know....people show him love and care for him,” said Webber.
But as Alijah told KVUE, he doesn't have time for tears, he's too excited.
"I can ride it all by myself,” said Alijah.
And he already knows the first place he wants to ride.
"To the park,” said Alijah.
Donahue, at Bicycle Sport Shop helped assemble the bike.
"Which of course we were more than happy to do,” said Donahue. "You know they're making the best of it and trying to do something real positive for Alijah anything like that, if we have the opportunity, we love to help.”
"It's so exciting to me to be able to give someone something they thought they would never have and to give them the freedom to do the things that they haven't been able to do,” said Johnson.
Webber hopes the bike will help his son’s motor skills.
"So he can be more independent, you know to do other things he sees kids doing,” said Webber.
Things, they can now do together.
"Now that he has a bike, I'll probably get a bike so we can ride in the park together,” said Webber.
"Thank you for Hope4Minds,” said Alijah.
"I'm very thankful for hope 4 minds, to supply us with that adaptive bike, I’ll be forever grateful for them," said Webber. "It's people out there like Hope 4 Minds that can help you know, can help ease the situation, for parents and children with disabilities don't ever think people don't care, because they do, from personal experience, I know people care."
If you want to learn more about, or donate to Hope4Minds, click here.
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