Local Foundation Donates Bikes to Special Needs Children
T. Baker Smith SPARK Foundation partners with the McLindon Family Foundation to donate adaptive bikes to two deserving local children.
HOUMA, LA – T. Baker Smith SPARK Foundation (TBS SPARK) has collaborated with the McLindon Family Foundation (MMF) out of Baton Rouge to donate adaptive bikes to two local Houma children with special needs, Allie Bourgeois (5 years old) and Mason Champagne (6 years old), on Tuesday, April 3, 2018.
At around six months old, Allie’s mom noticed Allie was only using her left hand to bat her toys and was keeping her right hand fisted up. Allie had an MRI at 11 months old and was diagnosed with having had a perinatal stroke and right-side hemiparesis. Allie started receiving occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy until age three. She attends pre-kindergarten at Acadian Elementary School and still receives speech and physical therapy as well as hippotherapy.
Mason was born full term with no major complications during pregnancy. At one day old, his breathing became labored, which later developed into apnea spells and then full-blown seizures. After a few tests and procedures, an MRI showed Mason had five areas of brain damage. The brain damage caused Right Spastic Hemiparetic Cerebral Palsy. “Mason is just like any other boy,” says his mom. “He loves frogs, fish, and mud. Playing outside is his favorite thing to do. He is currently in t-ball and has many friends at school. The sky is the limit for Mason and nothing stops him or slows him down, not even cerebral palsy.” Mason has been in routine physical and occupational therapy since he was four months old.
From the moment Allie, Mason, and their families arrived at the TBS corporate headquarters, they were a force to be reckoned with. Smiling and talking with everyone, both Allie and Mason stole the hearts of our associates. The joy these two children had in their eyes was a remarkable sight. Both of their faces lit when they saw their new adaptive bikes. Allie hopped right on, strapped in, and never looked back. “When Allie plays outside on this bike, she will be getting her therapy and she won’t even know it. I am so grateful that people are so generous,” said Sandy Bourgeois, Allie’s mom.
Mason’s enthusiasm is evident in his need for speed. He saw his new bike and a giant smile stretched across his face. We could not keep up with him as he zoomed around the parking lot. “He is going to enjoy this bike a whole lot. It will give more stabilities than a regular bike would, and he will feel confident and will go fast for sure!” said Amberly Champagne, Mason’s mom.
“Giving back to our communities is something we hold very dear at TBS SPARK Foundation. We are thrilled to be partnering with MMF. The work they are doing is astounding. Hopefully we can do 10 more bikes, one for each of our office locations!” Kenneth Wm. Smith, CEO, TBS.
MMF assisted TBS SPARK with contacting local physical and pediatric therapy facilities to find two very deserving children. The adaptive bikes are designed to give a tangible way for the child to have freedom, strength, confidence, and inclusion.