Ainsley's Angels is thrilled to help ensure Clayton can soon roll with the wind in his very own Team Hoyt Custom chair! As the father of two very special girls that race together with me, I know the positive energy surrounding the start line, the togetherness of every member preparing to "roll with the wind", the fearlessness of the athletes, the normalcy of the family, and the love we all have for each other is a therapy like no other.
Here is a special message from Clayton's family:
Clayton is a 15 year old young man who is able to light up a room with his mega smile and his friendly proclamation of "hi, guys". While Clayton has many medical terms that explain every single one of his behaviors and limitations - his main 2 diagnosises are very rare. Clayton was born with a very rare brain defect that although it's official name is a mile long, fits easily under the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. Right before 2 years of age, he began showing signs of his second rare and often misunderstood health issue of cyclic vomiting syndrome. Even though Clayton might have limitation to his ability to walk, to communicate and to participate in many activities, he never seems to let any of his labels keep him down for very long.
Very early in Clayton's life he made it clear, whether in school or the community, that the only thing he has ever wanted was to be able to do things like everyone else. His family has tried very hard to help him in this regard. He goes everywhere with them and if he can't do it - they don't either. Even if it means the rest of the family misses out.
A couple of years ago the family was visiting Mesa Verde in Colorado. Clayton let it be known that he wanted to go down a ladder into a Kiva that he saw other visitors to the park disappearing into. The family waited for the other visitors to finish viewing the ruin and when the site was empty they carefully lowered him down through the hole in the top of the Kiva to the waiting hands of a family member below. For weeks afterwards, he shared with anyone who would take the time to listen about what he saw while underground inside the dark Kiva.
During his recovery from surgery this spring, his mother read a post from Jodi Stoner in Florida regarding the start of Ainsley's Angels group in New Mexico and their first half marathon in the state. His mom responded right away and Clayton completed his first half marathon a week ago on July 4th. This was such a great experience for both Clayton and his family for many reasons. He was an included participant just like every other runner on the course that day - he was given a race number/bib, an official race shirt, and he received a big shinny medal as well as heard his name announced when he crossed the finish line. Clayton did not have to wait for everyone else to finish the race and then go on the course - he was out there among all the racers for the entire 13.1 miles! Clayton loved the experience and did not want it to end; he kept telling his runners "more, more" through out the entire race. Best of all, Clayton's family got to witness Clayton building a relationship/connection all on his own with the amazing people who pushed him that day. The entire way on the family's drive home, Clayton talked about nothing else except the race, the runners, the pushers and of his desire to run some more!
When the family got home, research began on how to make Clayton's "more, more" happen for him. The family joined Jason Belcher out of Southern Colorado and their Ainsley's Angels group less than one week later on Thursday for a 5K fun run. Again, Clayton told his pushers and family "more, more" the entire time - even though they ran in the rain that day. [*:) happy]
The blue Ainsley's Angel chairs cause Clayton's knees to fall over (lack of muscle tone) which can cause him back and/or leg pain. This problem would eventually cause him to not be able to run any longer. His family is interested in the Team Hoyt chair to ensure that Clayton can continue to participate in an activity that brings him and those around him great joy.
His family thanks you for any help you are able to a give to make Clayton's dream come true.
YES, YOU CAN...donate right now to ensure the thrill of rolling with the wind and crossing a road race finish line! Click the pink button in the upper right of this page or e-mail president@AinsleysAngels.org for a link to make a donation using PayPay and/or for a mailing address should you prefer to donate by check. We will ensure all donations appear on this page as off-line donations.
Another way to help, is to spread the word of our message and efforts:
1. Visit www.AinsleysAngels.org to purchase the children’s book, Born an Angel, written by Ainsley’s then 11-year old sister and donate it to a local elementary school library! Proceeds go to Ainsley's Angels efforts to spread inclusion Nationwide!
2. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @ainsleys_angels
3. Lastly, we invite you to enjoy this USA TODAY Video Story: http://youtu.be/4TI81ZHQKyw