Sunshine Foundation

Wheeling Into The Future

Monday, January 24, 2022

Ethan Rude is an 18-year old young resident of Regina, Saskatchewan, who loves his daily doze of physical activity. He lives with cerebral palsy, and before the pandemic hit the world, he loved borrowing his friend’s modified bike in school and rode around on it to enjoy some exercise and have fun. But just like the rest of us, given the social changes of the pandemic since March 2020, he found himself isolated and restricted, but even more so due to his condition.

With the schools shutting down and physical distancing regulations in place, his school visits reduced drastically, which left him quite disheartened and reduced his exercise time as well – up until August 20, 2021, when he received something he so dearly wished for – his own brand-new adapted bike, just like the one he used to borrow from his friend at school, from The Sunshine Foundation of Canada!

“His face just lit-up when he saw his own bike for the first time! It was such an emotional moment for me,” exclaimed Ethan’s mom, Raequel, talking about how she loves seeing Ethan ride his bike everywhere. “His bike is like a tricycle, only bigger, and it’s so green, which is something you just can’t miss – and that’s exactly what Ethan is like, someone you just cannot miss because he is so social and lively. It is incredible to see him ride his bike everywhere; it truly helps him thrive."

Ethan’s teachers, support staff, and family all find that it is a wonderful way for Ethan to have fun and get the exercise he needs to stay healthy and strong physically as well as mentally. Now that Ethan no longer has to borrow a bike and has his own personalized adaptive tricycle, he has become more independent and engages in more physical and sensory experiences, including taking trail rides with his family to see geese in the park. He is visibly happier and more joyful and has made his big green bike an integral part of his life. “He looks like ‘the boss’ when he rides his bike as he peddles around the gym saying hello to all of his favourite people. His dream also helps him focus more in school as he is more comfortable sitting on his bike during lessons,” adds Raequel.

Raquel says she can't thank Sunshine enough for helping Ethan to find a dream that fits his interests and needs, and allows him to be more engaged with his community.

Ethan's dream story was covered by Regina Morning Show, where Ethan's parents spoke about the impact of the dream. Do give it a listen here!