Wednesday, January 28, 2009

11-Year Old's Dream Comes True of Owning a Bicycle

(from News Channel 5)


Like any father, Scott Monteiro simply wanted to make his son's dreams come true.
For years, money and a debilitating illness got in the way of 11-year-old Josh Monteiro's greatest wish. That is - until this week.

As NewsChannel 5 photojournalist Nathan Sharkey and reporter Jeff Tang show us, a few kind teachers and a group of bikers changed one boy's life forever. Scott Monteiro makes his living explaining things as a 7th grade social studies teacher at West Creek Middle School in Clarksville.

But Mr. Monteiro explains no map, no battle, no story of history better than he explains his son's love of bicycles. "It's a dream of his. It's something he's always wanted just like any kid since he was three, four years old.

A bike never quite fit into Josh Monteiro's life.
"He has an illness called Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2," Scott explains. "He has no use of his legs anymore from the waist down." His disease does not change the fact that he still wants the same things other boys his age want.

"You know, every time we go past the bikes he still looks at them. He doesn't' mention them but he still looks at them," Scott says.

Josh did not know, but a visit to his dad's school Wednesday had something to do with his dream. All he knew was that a surprised waited for him. While waiting, Josh didn't talk much - nor did he ask for much. Maybe it's because he already knows exactly what he wants.

"What would be the one thing that would be a wish come true?" he was asked.
"Having a bike," he replied. "I've been having that dream almost every night."

Josh had no idea it was coming, but at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, his one dream came true.
Everyone gathered around Josh as a surprise pulled into West Creek Middle School.
A large smile found its way onto his face when the bike was unveiled. Tears soaked his eyes as he gave his dad a big hug. His one wish came true.

Scott Monteiro makes his living explaining things, but there are some things that hardly need explaining at all. "That smile... I have never seen him smile as big as today. This is the happiest day of his life. Thank you... thank you... thank you," Scott told those who made his son's wish a reality.

There is no cure for Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Many with Josh's condition do not live past the age of 20. His family says exercise can help improve his quality of life. They're hoping the new bike does just that.

Several of Scott's co-workers donated money to help purchase the specialized bike. The group "Bikers Who Care" covered the rest.

View the video.