Thats my bike

Raissa Tetanish
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13-year-old with cerebral palsy gets wish granted

AMHERST - Duran Beckstead can now do what many other 13-year-olds do - ride a bicycle.

Duran, who has cerebral palsy, had a wish granted through the Sunshine Foundation and was given an adapted tricycle Thursday at the Cumberland YMCA.
Seeing it come into the parking lot behind a police vehicle with sirens going, Duran knew right away it was his bike.
"That's my bike," he said, while family and friends looked on. "I want to get on my bike."
A few months ago, Duran tested one of the Freedom Concepts adapted tricycles Cumberland Early Intervention showcased. He asked his mother if he could take it home with him.
"It's just amazing," said Karen LeBlanc after watching her son take his first ride on his new purple bike. "Because of the price, we would never have been able to do this. It's through organizations like the Sunshine Foundation that this is possible. It's unbelievable."
LeBlanc wiped the tears from her eyes after watching Duran receive his bike, and continued to watch as Duran's father, Chris MacDonald, helped him onto it.
"I like my new bike. I'm going to go to Charlotte's (Ferguson, a former aide) house, and I'm going to the police station," Duran said.
MacDonald said the bike would give the pair more freedom.
"We walk everywhere (with his wheelchair). This will be more fun for us, give us better access and make it easier for us to get around. This will make him happy, and it's going to make him healthier," he said, adding it will help to strengthen Duran's legs.
Leonard Viel, a volunteer with the Sunshine Foundation, left Edmunston, N.B., at 3 a.m., Thursday to make it to Amherst.
"It's not about the time spent. It's about the smile and the joy you see on these kids' faces. You can't buy that," Viel said. "If you can make them happy, it's worth it."
Flanked by his siblings and biological mother, Paula Beckstead, Duran couldn't wait to go on his first ride.
LeBlanc said Duran wanted to ride his bike to Kentville to watch a sibling play soccer, and wanted to visit Ferguson, who was Duran's aide years ago.
Not being able to keep a smile from his face, MacDonald walked with Duran to the Amherst Police Department, which helped deliver the bike.
"When they're small, you don't think they're going to be able to do these things again. I get more from him than he gets from me," said MacDonald with a smile.
rtetanish@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Sunshine Foundation, Freedom Concepts, Amherst Police Department

Geographic location: AMHERST, Charlotte, Kentville

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Recent comments

  • Amanda
    January 18, 2010 - 11:23

    This is so amazing! This bike is going to help strengthen your legs so much and give you so much more freedom. Can't wait to see you drive your bike Duran!! xox

  • colton
    January 18, 2010 - 11:19

    hey duran thats great that you got a new bike

  • Lisa
    January 18, 2010 - 11:14

    This is a wonderful story. I hope Duran enjoys his bike.

  • Rob
    January 18, 2010 - 11:14

    I just finished mowing the lawn and my wife called me to come read this story. If this doesn't bring a tear to your eye I don't know what does. I've known Karen for a number of years now and I've seen Duran at the soccer games and let me tell you, this couldn't happen to nicer people. Things haven't come easy for Duran but with good people around he's been able to cope quite nicely and should I mention, he usually does it with a smile. I think it's great that he has a new bike and I hope he has many hours of fun on it, I mean, isn't that what being a child is all about. Good job Duran.

  • maria
    January 18, 2010 - 11:05

    I was so overjoyed when i saw duran coming down the street on his new bike the look on his face was priceless there is no stopping him this summer

  • Carole McKiel
    January 18, 2010 - 11:04

    OMG I was so happy for the whole family when I saw Duran on his new bike. He was so excited and couldn't wait to tell me all about it. Until you work with Special Needs children you really don't get it, I also have gotten more from these children then I know they get from us. We teach them, But boy do they teach us. THIS is the reason why the school board needs to review their decision to cut EA's from the system. THe smile and joy on Duran's face that day must of been priceless. Congrats Duran and have fun on your new bike....Wubs You Lots......

  • A neighbor
    January 18, 2010 - 10:57

    I am so happy for you Duran! I can't help but smile and get a tear in my eye everytime I see you go by on your bike.

  • karen
    January 18, 2010 - 10:45

    Thanks everyone. He's been having a blast riding all over town. Im so glad we decided to stay in Cumberland County to raise our family. People like you prove us right. Again many thanks.

  • Ashlea
    January 18, 2010 - 10:44

    Congratulations Duran! Enjoy your new bike!

  • Danny
    January 18, 2010 - 10:31

    Enjoy your bike Duran. Congratulations!