The best ride of Jaxon's life

WHEN six-year-old Jaxon Taylor was helped from his wheelchair and on to his first bicycle, the sight brought tears to his mother's eyes.

Jaxon's muscular dystrophy means he needs a wheelchair to get around but that had never stopped him from wanting to ride a bicycle like his friends did.

"I would never think that I couldn't go on a bike because I am in a wheelchair," Jaxon said.

But for mum Lija Taylor, her son's determination presented a challenge.

"I didn't know what we were going to do," Mrs Taylor said.

"We were sitting in the Children's Hospital at Westmead and we saw a brochure for these bikes and it was really exciting for us.

"It was great when he had his cousins over and he could ride with them.

"We got a bit teary; you never think you could find something like that."

Jaxon's bike was custom-built for him by Northmead not-for-profit company TAD Disability Services.

The bike has a frame that supports Jaxon and secures his body with a harness.

Although he has some difficulty using his legs, the bike has balancing wheels and a gear system that makes it easier to ride once Jaxon gets rolling.

TAD chief executive Alan McGregor said the company produced about 1000 bikes and pieces of equipment a year to help get people with disabilities active and lead more independent lives.

The group survives on a budget of $1.6 million a year, sourced partially from government grants and client fees but mostly from fund-raising.

"But this is the little miracle," he said, watching Jaxon ride, "to see this little fella come in a wheelchair and now riding around . . . it's a magic moment."

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