Paulin rides his first bike

Published 4:50 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In September, Brenda Ladun from ABC 33/40 called Roseanna Paulin to tell her that she found a company (AMBUCS) that made bikes for children with disabilities.

Paulin’s son, Joey, has been diagnosed with Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy, a rare and terminal illness that prevents the boy from walking, talking, sitting or standing.

While Roseanna wanted to be excited, her rationale thought Joey would never be able to ride a bike given his multiple disabilities.

Nevertheless, she agreed to have some students from UAB’s physical therapy department come to her home to measure Joey for his bike.

“I’ll be honest, there are days I wish my little boy could play outside, ride bikes with other neighborhood children and do the everyday things that 4-year-olds do,” Roseanna said. “Never once did putting Joey on a bike even enter onto my radar of possibilities. It’s not that I’m a pessimist, I just know what Joey can and can’t do, or at least I thought I did.”

Weeks passed and then Roseanna received the phone call. The bike was ready and they were going to present it to Joey at the Lakeshore Foundation, where Joey swims twice a week.

After arriving at the Lakeshore Foundation, Joey ride a bike for the first time.

“There really aren’t enough words to describe the emotions we all felt that afternoon,” Roseanna said. “I was in tears watching my 4-year-old, who cannot walk, talk, sit or stand, ride a bike built just for him.”

Joey instinctively put his hands on the handlebars and his feet on the pedals. Everyone was cheering, crying, laughing as the boy who had defied so many odds over the past four years, once again showed that anything is possible.