Crowdsourcing funds child's special needs bike in 11 hours | Community Spirit
Eleven hours. That’s all it took for the community to fully support a gofundme campaign to get a special needs bike for five-year-old Chace Thomas. Not only was the campaign fully funded, but generous donors supported the Thomas family to $1,000 past their goal of $3,000 to purchase the bike.
Chace Thomas was born a healthy, eight pound, little boy. Newborn jaundice changed all that, and within a few days he went from healthy and happy, to battling for his life. The bilirubin from the jaundice crossed the blood line to Chace’s brain causing kernicterus, a rare and permanent form of brain damage. Chace now lives with profound hearing loss and Choreoathetoid Cerebral Palsy.
“It’s just been devastating to our family,” said Chace’s mom, Katie Thomas.
Chace loves to play with his older sister, Charli, and younger brother, Cohen, but isn’t always able to join the fun due to his disabilities. One of the things they haven’t been able to do together is ride their bikes, Chace’s motor skills are too affected by the Cerebral Palsy.
“It’s been really heartbreaking to see the expression on his face when his brother and sister are riding their bikes,” said Katie.
But at the end of April, Chace had a breakthrough in physical therapy. Chace was able to start pushing a little on the pedals of a special needs bike. The bike is designed to help assist his feet as he pedals.
“We couldn’t believe it, that he had made that much progress,” said Katie. But when the Thomas family saw the $3,000 price tag to finally get Chace a bike of his own they were disheartened. Friends suggested they set up a gofundme page to help cover the cost. Katie explained they were hesitant at first, but after several friends made the suggestion they gave in and opened the account.
It only took 11 hours for the dream of buying Chace a special needs bike to come true.
“We have just been in tears,” said Katie. “We just couldn’t believe it.”
Since Katie created the gofundme campaign on April 30th, Chace’s story has been shared over 800 times and 77 donors have given over $4,000.
“It made me realize that there are good people out there that want to help our son,” said Katie. Chace picked out a blue bike, his favorite color, and it should arrive soon.
“I’m just excited that he’s actually going to be able to ride a bike,” said Katie. With the extra $1,000 the Thomas’ were able to pay for Chace to go to Free Reign horse therapy, where Chace, a lover of superheroes, will get to spend time riding a horse named Loki.
“He was all smiles,” said Katie.