The video of a wheelchair-bound boy with cerebral palsy, gleefully skateboarding with help from his dad, has gone viral.
Eight-year-old Atticus Edmunds has cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that limits muscle strength and coordination, which is why he cannot walk alone. He was born at 28 weeks, weighing two pounds and three ounces. But he is an unstoppable kid when it comes to speed, be it swinging, sitting on a roller coaster or skateboarding.
His dad, Jared Edmunds, who helped him with the thrill, told Today, "There has never been a roller coaster too fast or a swing too high for Atticus. He can be a little daredevil when he wants to be."
Since the first time he and his dad rode around Christa McAuliffe Skatepark, near their home in Placerville, California, Atticus has considered himself a skater.
When Atticus' mom, Tresa Edmunds, who blogs at Reese Dixon, caught up with him after his first experience skating, he said enthusiastically, "The was great! That was fantastic! That was crazy!"Tresa told Inside Edition that they saw a Facebook video of someone else doing it and decided to give it a try.
She said, "We saw a video of another man doing it on Facebook, So we just went down (to the park) and did it."
They had no skating gear, she laughingly said, "because why would you buy a helmet for a kid in a wheelchair?"
But now they do have a helmet, as Tresa wrote on her blog, "Guess what folks? If your child can't walk you don't buy them a helmet. This was not a matter of being too lazy to put one on, this was a matter of not having reason to believe he would ever need one. We had no idea he would love this like he did. Plus he's on five wheels, not two. He's way more stable than a skateboard. He has a helmet now. Shush with your able bodied privilege."
Skateboarding has Atticus in grins, and he cannot get enough of the adrenaline rush.
Tresa said, "It's actually a form of therapy. The nerves don't communicate to his muscles the same way other people do, so when he gets this huge rush of motion, it keeps stuff in for him. He feels that rush."
Skating also helps Atticus feel like the other kids. The kids too look at him as a skater first and a boy in a wheelchair second. They cheer for him and give him high-fives every time he skates.
Jared said, "It gives him an opportunity to do things that other kids do instead of having him sit on the sidelines and watching."
Since the video went viral, Atticus' parents say they've been overwhelmed with messages of love and support. They hope the attention sheds some light and increase awareness about kids with cerebral palsy.
Tresa writes on her blog, "My job as his mom is to protect that sweet brave spirit. To make sure that he never gets discouraged enough to give up. I need to be his coach and tell him that Rome wasn't built in a day and that It's better to have tried and failed than never tried and that Winners never quit and quitters never win. All day long I'm trying to make up for how hard the whole rest of the world is by telling him how much I believe in him."
Cerebral palsy is a disorder which can limit many people, but this boy Atticus sure is showing the way forward. Just as the kid yelled when one of his wheels popped off the other day, "Ride until the wheels fly off, Atticus!"
[Image via Facebook]