2009 PROGRESS UPDATE! After so many years of physical therapy and enough determination to move mountains, Patrick is learning to walk! Better than that, he IS walking! And it looks like he will achieve his goal of walking across the stage of his high school graduation. He's always said that if you can dream it, you can do it. Watch how Patrick is making his dreams come true!
I wanted to let you know what your gift of a handcycle has meant to me. My name is Patrick Ivison and I am 13 years old. When I was a toddler, my mom and I were walking behind a car when the driver, who was arguing with his girlfriend, backed up suddenly and ran me over pinning me under the car. I was Life Flighted to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. It was several days before we learned that I had suffered a C4/C5 incomplete spinal cord injury.
For the next couple of years I spent countless hours in physical therapy and my mom quickly realized the best therapy happened when I was having fun. When I was four years old, I attended a camp that introduced me to handcycling. To say that I was having fun handcycling would be beyond an understatement. Shortly after that camp I started participating in a handcycling club that would loan us a handcycle and my mom and I would ride all over San Diego. Then when I was 8 I heard about the half marathon that goes along the Silver Strand and I begged my Mom to let me do it. The problem was I didn't have my own bike. A few days before the race Athletes Helping Athletes presented me with my first handcycle.
It's hard to put into words what that gift has meant to me and my family. Not only did I finish that first race, although at times I was dead last, I've competed in 5 half marathons, and numerous triathlons, 10Ks and 5Ks. My little sister Sam has even gotten the race bug and competes with me and helps me on the hills, something I still struggle with.
I have a shirt that says "Triathlete" on the back. Thanks to Athletes Helping Athletes I'm very proud to wear that shirt. There is nothing like the feeling I get when I finish a race. You have made a difference in my life.
Dear Athletes Helping Athletes,
My favorite activities are playing rugby, riding handcycles, soccer, and power soccer. I also do adaptive kayaking in the spring. Every summer I get to waterski, jet ski, and go sailing. I love to go swimming. I even swam 14 laps before.
I go to Miramar Ranch elementary; I'm in the third grade. Last year I got a 99.9% on my GATE test (gifted and talented) which made me eligible for the seminar program. I get to be in a special class all the way through 12th grade. We get to go on a lot of cool field trips. The class focuses on medicine, science, foreign languages, and a bunch of other stuff. Next year we get to fly to Sacramento, I can't wait!
I really enjoy handcycling because it helps me build up my arm strength. This helps me push my sports chair.