Dream come true

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Front Page - – Colin Macgil­livray

Hor­sham boy Ted John­son is rel­ish­ing a new­found sense of in­de­pen­dence as he rides around town on his new cus­tom-made bike.

The Ss Michael and John’s Pri­mary School stu­dent had both legs am­pu­tated at birth and has never been able to ride a con­ven­tional bicycle.

With a cus­tom-made op­tion, cost­ing $11,000, be­yond the fi­nan­cial reach of Ted’s fam­ily, his school com­mu­nity or­gan­ised a ‘Ten4ted’ fundrais­ing cam­paign in De­cem­ber.

The fundraiser smashed its ini­tial goal, rais­ing more than $15,000 in less than two weeks.

Ted’s mother Ab­bie Clark said the or­der for the spe­cial bike had been placed shortly be­fore Christ­mas but took about six months to be built and shipped to Aus­tralia. She said Ted had been thrilled when it fi­nally ar­rived.

“As soon as Ted saw the bike he thought it was amaz­ing,” she said. “It was made in Poland and the com­pany in Mel­bourne we bought it from was called Mel­rose Wheel­chairs. They were so help­ful and they knew what they were talking about – both the guys were in wheel­chairs themselves. They knew ex­actly what we needed.

Ss Michael and John’s Pri­mary School hosts ‘Wheelie Wed­nes­days’, where stu­dents bring bikes, scoot­ers, skate­boards, roller skates and other wheeled meth­ods of trans­port to school.

The school will host an­other wheelie event on Fri­day this week.

Ted said the abil­ity to ride with his school­mates was ‘pretty cool’.

Ms Clark said Ted was still get­ting the hang of us­ing his new bike.

“Most kids from the age of about three years old have been rid­ing some­thing, but Ted hasn’t, so it’s all about get­ting used to the idea of rid­ing,” she said.

“Once he gets old enough and more con­fi­dent he’ll be able to ride to school on his own.”

Ms Clark said she was still in awe of the gen­eros­ity dis­played by Wim­mera peo­ple to help raise money for Ted’s bike.

“I have to thank the school es­pe­cially and then all the in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses across Aus­tralia that helped us out,” she said.

“We re­ally don’t know how to thank every­body – it was the most hum­bling thing.

“We’re try­ing to make sure we get out and about, so if any­one sees us, give us a wave.”

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