Family says cargo bike will open wider world to Lucas
A GoFundMe page has been set up to get a cargo bike for a eight-year-old from Lakepoint, who has autism and ADHD.
People in Lakepoint will know Lucas as a happy boy who is always smiling and loves wheelie bins and tidying them from the street when they are empty. That is his obsession and he does it every day. Lucas also loves animals, particularly is beloved Labrador, Chelsea.
Life for Lucas and his family is curtailed because of his condition. He is active, constantly on the run. They cannot go for picnics, sit in a coffee shop or the park, go to the cinema as a family, in fact nothing where Lucas is expected to sit still. However, they can go for walks or cycle trips.
They used to use a special buggy but Lucas is too old for a buggy and too big for a bike seat. He cannot ride a bike or scooter himself and even if he could, it would be dangerous because he has poor concentration and more than likely, if he was riding a bike he would be looking around for wheelie bins!
Furthermore, he is not aware of cars and has to be supervised at all times when outside.
The answer is a cargo bike.
Lucas’s parents, Jana and Marek, have found one that suits him, but it is beyond their budget. “I have never, ever asked for help before and I know that some cargo bikes are cheaper, but we tried the cheaper one and unfortunately, it did not suit.
"A lot of people might say it is a luxury to have a bike like this. I know it is, but this bike will help us as a family. We can do longer trips with Lucas and he can sit comfortably and more importantly, safely, on the look-out for wheelie bins,” Jana, his mother said. She said their budget is €2,000 and the bike is €5,850.
“We cannot express enough, how grateful we would be to anyone that could help support our fundraising,” she said. Jana and Marek moved to Ireland from Trencin, a town in Slovakia, Marek in 2004 and Jana in 2008.
"They met in 2007 when Marek was visiting his family in Slovakia and “fell in love straight away”. Their daughter, 11-year-old Kiara, and Lucas were both born in Ireland.
They love living here and although they miss their families, they have made many friends here over the years and they now feel part of this country.
Lucas was diagnosed with ASD when he was two and a half and since then he has progressed steadily with the help of speech and language therapy, social skills therapy, occupational therapy, ABA therapy, horse riding therapy and swimming. Last year he was diagnosed with ADHD.
Says Jana: “Trough years of working with the special programmes for parents with ASD children, we have learned how to work and manage Lucas.”
He attends Presentation Senior school where, says Jana, there is a lovely School Age Team and they are always helpful if there are any problems. “All the staff are amazing,” Jana said.
“This year, Lucas has a new teacher, Mr Darragh, and he has a special needs assistant, Ruth, with whom he has a wonderful relationship.
“She is the best SNA! She visited Lucas during the summer holidays and came to see him during his horse riding. We are very thankful to her for all her help. Even during the holidays, Lucas continued with summer school and as there was no bus service, Ruth picked him up every morning by car and brought him home. Ruth is simply great as are all the staff including his previous teacher, Ms Kelly, and the principal, Declan Fry. I’m so grateful that we have all these people to help us and Lucas.”
To contribute, go to GoFundMe.