Scott Mallinson was so far over the moon that his dream bike might have been a rocket ship.
The nine-year-old Burnaby boy who battles cerebral palsy had his wish for a tandem bike granted thanks to the Sunshine Foundation of Canada. At the first sight of his new bike, he was walking on air.
“Scott was through the roof – he was so, so happy,” said Scott’s mother, Shelley.
“He loves it and riding in it – he’s free.”
Scott has loved being on a bike since he was a little tyke. Because he also has visual and hearing impairments, he likes sitting up front where he can get a better view. When he was younger, his parents Shelley and Chris had a bike that allowed him to do that.
But as he got older, Scott outgrew his bike with a view. And that was hard for Shelley.
“He really wanted to go biking and we had to explain that he was too big,” she said.
“There wasn’t anything on the market that would fit. If he had to ride at the back, he wouldn’t be able to see at all.”
For two years, the family looked high and low for a bicycle that would meet Scott’s needs, but found nothing. Then they heard about the Sunshine Foundation of Canada. The dream-bike became a reality thanks to the “Spread a Little Sunshine” campaign by the foundation, supported by corporate sponsors Winners and HomeSense.
Now Scott has a front seat on a custom-built bike designed so the back seat is higher and the front has a child’s crank. It also has a full safety harness and straps on the pedals. He was presented with his new bike at the Burnaby Winners store on Marine Drive. Scott and his parents immediately took the bike for a spin down the store aisles.
“It was fantastic. Scott was able to ride the bike in the store and show everybody,” Shelley said. “He was certainly the centre of attention.”
Mother and son’s first bike ride outside took place shortly after, near Shelley’s parents’ place in Langley.
“The bike doesn’t depend on him peddling to move. That will be me on most occasions,” laughed Shelley, 43, a resident of hilly North Burnaby.
“I’m getting into shape pretty quick.”
Between them, Winners and HomeSense have helped to raise over $5.6 million with the Sunshine Foundation to fulfill the dreams of children like Scott who live with medical challenges.
© Copyright 2013