Austin's Adventures with Dad

Fifteen-year-old Austin is an active teen who lives with cerebral palsy and loves playing 
sports like sledge hockey and power wheelchair soccer. His family shares that his positive personality is his best quality, and he’s always brightening peoples’ day. 

Since Austin likes to stay active, he can often be found outside with his friends and spending quality time with his dad. While the two love to be outside, Austin was limited in how far he could extend his outdoor adventures with his dad because his power wheelchair couldn’t cross the rough terrains and backcountry trails around his home. His power chair was a barrier to true exploration and quality time spent with dad.  

Austin was looking for a way to eliminate some of the hurdles that were stopping him from keeping up with his dad and others. He wanted to climb hills, traverse uncharted territories, and further his trips in the fresh air without worrying that his heavy power wheelchair would get stuck or run out of battery. He was seeking a way to increase his independence with something that could match his drive and sense of adventure. 

The big day came for Austin when he was presented with his Shine Dream of a customized all-terrain rig. The reveal party included his family and friends, his school principal, and his Shine referral partner who all shared in Austin’s excitement. 

Following the presentation of his all-terrain rig, Austin could not wait to try out his new ride, with none other than his dad standing proudly by his side. Austin’s first trial run took place on the driveway, with encouragement from dad to keep going, guiding the start of his newest adventure. 

While this was a new experience for Austin, his dad couldn’t help but feel emotional as well, “There were a lot of emotions. I had a lot of fear at first as he tests the limits of everything now. But this turned into pure joy just to see him get places on his own.”

Austin’s favourite activity with his new rig has been going through the woods, which has no problem going over the rough terrain. Now, adventures with dad are a breeze, with Austin in his rig, leading the way and his dad behind him on their four wheeler. Their bond is stronger than ever now being able to spend hours together out on the trails.

The NOT A Wheelchair rig has allowed Austin to experience many benefits with his family and friends, but also in life itself. With the world now at his fingertips, Austin is exploring new limits, is building the confidence to take more risks, and has found greater independence. Whether he heads on a new adventure with his dad by his side, or wants to explore on his own, his parents feel at ease knowing that he has a rig that supports his adventures.

“Before with the wheelchair, we couldn’t let him go out on his own as much unless we knew exactly where he was going because there was a risk of him getting his wheelchair stuck in the sand. With his new rig he has much more freedom as we know if he does get stuck he can get out of it himself if he does go on his own.”

The time is now to take steps to level the playing field, to build a world that is truly accessible and inclusive, so that everyone has the chance to SHINE. Shine helps Dreamers gain confidence and see themselves differently as someone who can vs. someone who can’t. The freedom and independence Austin’s new rig provides allows him to apply concepts of determination and resilience for life’s future trials and challenges.

To support more Shine Dreams like Austin's, donate today. 


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