Tuesday, August 21, 2012

USA Pro Challenge

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We've been working since the beginning of the year to try to find a way to get Noah a Freedom Concepts Bike. I lost count of the many applications I filled out to foundations seeking help. After many months of hard work and two foundation grants later Noah was gifted with a Freedom Concepts demo/floor model bike - the dream came true. Noah received his bike today. And in a matter of moments like the anticipation of opening the best and biggest Christmas package you've ever received; the dream is shattered just as quickly. We pulled the bike off the truck with a 53ft trailer; it was strapped only to a wall and not attached to a pallet. When the bike was lowered to our street I noticed immediately it was in pretty bad condition. I received a call last week from the vendor that a new bumper for one of the sides and a foam grip was being sent to the house so we could "fix" the bike upon arrival. That caught me off guard as I was led to the believe this bike was in amazing near perfect condition as it after all was a demo/floor model. But the problems were far bigger than just handlebars and a missing bumper. It's severely rusted not to mention tremendously dirty. It also didn't have the included headrest that they said would be included for Noah. One foundation donated $1,000 the other donated $1,500 for a total of $2,500 and I simply can't believe this is what $2,500 buys. The bumper part didn't come with hardware for us to attach it to, and although they tell me I just need to use soap or lubricant to put on the handle bars Chris thinks we'll likely rip or tear it trying. So now I have to have someone to fix it and who knows if I can afford that. I couldn't refuse the bike because ironically Noah was invited to participate in the USA Pro Challenge Bike Race this Saturday, August 25th on the starting line in Golden, Colorado. I don't even know if his participation will even be possible now.

Rust and Damage of the Freedom Concepts Bike

For those of you not familiar with cycling: "USA Pro Cycling Challenge is the most demanding bike race ever held on American soil, with racers experiencing breathless altitudes, day after day. The race brought the high speeds, danger and adrenaline of professional cycling to elevations more than two miles high in some of the most picturesque terrain in the world—the Colorado Rocky Mountains. With altitudes and downhill peaks double what riders usually endure, the Colorado Rocky Mountains presented a course that was as much a part of the race as the riders themselves. For seven consecutive days, from August 22-28, 2011, 135 of the world’s top athletes raced across 518 miles through the majestic Rockies. This inaugural race in Colorado featured the best of the best in professional cycling, competing on a challenging course through some of America’s most beautiful scenery, including cities such as Aspen, Vail, Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs. Nearly 1 million spectators viewed this race from the roadsides along the route while 161 countries and territories broadcasted the race on television, including NBC and Versus. The USA Pro Cycling Challenge was one of the largest cycling events in United States history." http://usaprocyclingchallenge.com

It is quite an honor for Noah to be asked to participate in such an event. And something we were very much looking forward to. I just don't know how safe or feasible using this bike will be. And with less than a week, I can't honestly tell you at this moment if Noah will be racing as planned. And that's a pretty devastating feeling for Chris and I. We had our hearts literally set on this amazing opportunity for Noah; for the world to see our miracle working so hard at riding a bike like other children, and I don't know if that will happen.

Around every corner if feels like I am always fighting an uphill battle when it comes to helping Noah, getting him what he needs. Nothing is simple, nothing is easy, nothing ever goes as planned, and I work endlessly on Noah's behalf. There are days when I stay up late at night after everyone is in bed to fill out applications, cruise the internet for more help; to research therapies and equipment... and after it all I'm no further ahead for my efforts than when I started. I sit here writing with huge tears just flowing down my cheeks and I do not have a plan on how to make this work or what to do. I am going to say a lot of big prayers for some direction and where to go from here.


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.