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7-Year-Old Boy With Cerebral Palsy Realizes His Dream Of Skateboarding Thanks To DIY Rig

cerebral palsy skateboarding

A 7-year-old Brazilian boy with cerebral palsy was given a chance to fulfill his dream of going skateboarding thanks to the help of his mom and the incredible work of the Skate Anima project.

Video of the boy, named João, experiencing his first time on a skateboard immediately went viral when it was posted to social media this year, prompting many to brand his mom, Lau Patron, as “Mother of the Year.”

She quickly set the record straight, taking to Twitter to reveal more about her son’s story as well as how the video came together.

“I’m [the] mom of the smiling boy skating who has cerebral palsy,” she wrote along with another video of her son on the skateboard. “His name is João, he’s 7 years old.”

She went on to reveal that contrary to information that had been floating around online when reporting the story, the family isn’t from France or anywhere in Europe, but they actually live in Brazil. In addition, she didn’t want to take credit for building the adapted skateboard—it was something that came together thanks to the Skate Anima organization.

“I am a writer, activist, and inclusion professional. João was born and grown up as a typical child, he suffered a stroke when he was 2 years and got cerebral palsy,” Patron explained. “He was the happier [sic], curious boy and liked adrenaline. Nothing changed. The dream of skateboarding was an old thing.

“The dream was realized by the ‘skate anima’ project (find in Instagram), a physiotherapist and a psychologist, both skateboarders, who created the project to realize a patient’s dream and never stopped.”

Patron added that she hoped the story’s widespread appeal meant that more organizations would be inspired to make the world a more inclusive place for those with disabilities.

“I love sports and I love my son, who loves to experience the world and life so [damn] much. He’s a boy like any other, and this story is about that. What tools are we building so that the world belongs to everyone?” she wrote.

“How long will we accept the absurd? Kids growing up suffocated by a world that pretends not to see them. Places that don’t welcome everyone are [disabled], ideas are [disabled], planning, education, design. Not people. 1 billion people. 1/7 of the world. inclusion is not a favor.”

Here’s hoping João not only continues to live his dreams but that in doing so, he inspires others to go after their own.

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Written by Jennifer Still