HUNTERSVILLE, N.C -- Mayian Mpaayei came a long way just to ride a bike. He’s visiting Charlotte from Nairobi, Kenya. Mpaayei has Cerebral Palsey and is here to get recreational therapy.
"It’s a hand propelled bike and it will help with his upper body strength and mobility,” said Jennifer Moore of Adaptive Sports and Adventure Program, a rehabilitation program through Carolinas HealthCare Systems.
"Up, up, Mayian. You can do it,” yelled his mom Catherine Mppaaye, as she watched her son roll along on the special bike adjusted just for him.
Recreational therapists and a competitive hand cyclist from the hospital spent Wednesday showing Mpaaye, encouraging him, to ride and to have fun.
“It’s the most amazing thing that’s happened to me. I’ve always dreamed of Mayian moving himself and now it’s a dream come true,” said his mom.
She says that in her home country of Nairobi, Kenya, children with disabilities are shunned. Mpaayei started a therapy house for people with disabilities in Kenya, but her own son needed more.
She says her village raised money to get her son to Charlotte and doctors and therapists from Carolinas HealthCare Systems have offered therapy and treatment throughout the summer.
Greg Taylor, who lost the use of his legs and hands in a cycling accident 19 years ago, is also helping, serving as a mentor for the young boy. Taylor is a competitive hand cyclist.
Taylor’s advice for Mpaayei:
“Keep trying, keep going, try everything,” he said.