Lau Patrón has always been her son’s biggest advocate. And for her, that means helping João Vicente fulfill his greatest desires, no matter how out of reach they seem.
At just under two years old, the little boy from Curitiba, Brazil, suffered a stroke as the result of a rare genetic disease. He has cerebral palsy, as well. But losing control of his body has never suppressed his dream of riding on a skateboard.
Not knowing how to make it happen, Lau has tried suggesting other more feasible activities to João. But nothing has swayed his determination to get on a board.
Then, an incredible project called Skate Anima caught the mom’s attention. Psychologist Daniel Paniagua and physiotherapist Stevan Pinto are two men who, like Lau, strongly believe in inclusion in all areas of life, including sports. They were brought together by their love of skateboarding and the desire to make it accessible to everyone. Through the project, they’ve built devices on wheels so people with special needs and limited mobility can go for a ride. Each is specifically adapted to the person’s condition.
Daniel and Steven have since helped many children with disabilities live out their skateboarding dreams – including João. With the men’s help, he coasted down the street for the first time in November 2018. And his smile said everything.
Now Lau can take her son to the skate park whenever he wants. And she couldn’t be more grateful.
“For children who have cerebral palsy, or any other kind of disability, having desires and dreams is not allowed. The world is always telling us no. We must not, we cannot, it will not work, there is no adaptation. We do not belong,” Lau wrote in Portuguese.
“And so we are transforming what is normal, what belongs, who belongs, and what is possible.”
Watch as João lights up doing what he loves in the video below, and share to spread the word about this amazing project!
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