Ten-year-old Lucas is an active boy who loves biking and playing baseball with his friends. He doesn’t miss a single opportunity to try everything: “the faster, bigger or higher it is, the better!” he says.
Living with a spinal cord injury as a result of a traumatic accident a few years ago has given Lucas even more fuel to challenge himself and inspire others. Even though he faces obstacles daily, his vibrant green wheelchair takes him from one adventure to the next.
One of the obstacles Lucas encountered last year was his school’s playground which wasn’t designed to be accessible. It meant he couldn’t join his friends there or be as active as he wanted to be during recess and after school.
So with his heart on his sleeve, Lucas submitted a Sunshine Dream for an Oodle Swing: a big disk people can sit on to swing freely and safely despite differing abilities. His request was simple and thoughtful: instead of installing the swing at his home, Lucas wanted it at his school in Chilliwack, BC where everyone could enjoy it. His reasoning, Lucas’ mom explains, was that “this swing would give everyone at this amazing school something that isn’t modified, adapted or recreated to include [others]. Just there letting kids do what they do best – play!”
Lucas’ Sunshine Dream grew from there. His school decided it was time to make their playground more inclusive with rubber matting and a merry-go-round, inspiring others in his community to work together.
Everything changed for Lucas’ since then. The swing became the best part of his day at school. Before, his dream, his school days were summed up by a shrugged statement of “Good”, but now, his mom describes, “Lucas comes home bursting with happy stories about the wild rides he and his friends share together on the swing … who did something kooky … how fast they went and how high they reached. He gets so much joy from time spent with friends, able to do exactly what they’re doing. These memories are going to be precious for Lucas as he grows up.”
And Lucas isn’t the only one having a blast on the swing. He’s proud to see other kids using it, including a younger child who also lives with a disability.
The kids that Sunshine serves have been through so much. A Sunshine dream gives them the chance to just be a kid, gain confidence to achieve goal after goal, and experience a thrill or joy they’d never normally get to have. Help us make more of these dreams come true today.