One of the great joys of parenting is documenting the important milestones and ‘firsts’ for your children: their first tooth, their first word, their first day of school, and their first bike ride, to name but a few. But when your child struggles with a debilitating form of cerebral palsy, some of those ‘firsts’ can seem a world away.
At just nine-months-old Deacon Ayres was diagnosed as having suffered a stroke, possibly whilst in the womb. As a result, Deacon now suffers from a right hemiplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that affects the limbs on one side of his body. This has caused muscle weakness in both Deacon’s legs, and subsequently he finds walking quite a challenge. And when walking is a challenge, riding a bike has always been more of a dream than a reality for Deacon and his family of bike-enthusiasts.
Thanks to ToyBox International and Box Magazine subscribers, 5-year-old Deacon has received a specially modified bicycle, which allows him to intrepidly join in with his two older brothers and his parents in a pastime every child should able to enjoy. More than just an element of fun, the bike is also helping Deacon to build his core strength.
“Deacon needs help with all his daily needs. In playgrounds he struggles to climb the equipment so has to be supervised by us, his parents, at all times,” explained Deacon’s mum, Lisa. “Using his new modified bike allows Deacon to ride regularly, which is great therapy for him as it exercises and strengthens his legs. The bike also helps to improve the strength of his core muscles and posture, and it gives Deacon great pleasure,” she added.
The unique bike has been fitted with heavy-duty stabilisers, a T-bar, a handle-bar, hippy shoes, modified gearing, and an attendant handle with a brake function, making it safer and more stable for Deacon to ride on, and giving him the freedom to participate in a familial activity.
“We appreciate the support from organisations like ToyBox, in giving children the opportunity to receive the equipment they need to be able to function, develop and perform tasks that they have not been able to do, such as riding a bike. For this we are extremely grateful,” Lisa said.
You can help improve the lives of children like Deacon by subscribing to Box Magazine today. Visit boxmagazine.com.au or call us on 1300 BOXMAG.