Cleghorn, IA family gets 'freedom chair' as gift from a New York family
Shaun Evans tells six-year-old Eliza Bush about her new running chariot she received on Wednesday.
ESTHERVILLE, Iowa (KTIV) -
In a matter of months, Shaun Evans, his son's Shamus and Simon, as well as wife Nichole, will have befriended 25 families across the United States. It's not just because the family is extremely personable, but rather, it's part of their Ainsley's Angels Power To Push campaign.
Shaun and nine-year-old Shamus share a common interest: running. Shaun competes in ultramarathons. Shamus was born with cerebral palsy which means he can't run. Most days he's confined to a wheelchair.
In 2013, Ainsley's Angels gave Shaun a running chariot for Shamus. Move ahead to 2015, Shamus had the idea to give others the same opportunity he was given. "He said when we run across the country, let's donate chairs to other kids like me," his dad says.
That's exactly what the duo, with family in-tow are doing. The Bush's, from Cleghorn, Iowa, were on the receiving end of the campaign on Wednesday. Nathan Bush's sister-in-law heard on a podcast about the Evans trek. She contacted Nichole Evans and helped the families get in touch.
Wednesday, both families met in Estherville, Iowa. at Joe Hoye Park. The chair given out Wednesday is for six-year-old Eliza Bush. She was born with Potocki-Shaffer syndrome, which basically means part of her DNA is missing. Her syndrome causes cognitive issues, impaired vision and she can't walk because her achilles tendons won't form. "Despite my daughters physical limitations, she wants to be mobile," said Nathan Bush, Eliza's dad.
The chair she got should help her move around more in a figurative sense. She's the seventh person the family from Albany, New York, has given one of the chairs to so far. Overall, they plan to give out 25.
Eliza, who can't say very many words, was eager to get out of her wheelchair and into her new running chariot. Her parents say she will use it as often as she can but, with her condition, she cannot be in the sun for very long.
For Shamus, he just wants other kids to "roll with the wind like I (Shamus) do." For Shaun, he knows what it means to the other family members. "Not only are we providing the gift of mobility to a child but really to an entire family," said Evans.
The Evans are more than halfway through the 3,205 mile run that started in Seattle. Shaun, with Shamus in his chariot, run roughly 50 to 60 miles per day. The group they're help raising awareness for along the way, Ainsley's Angels, goal is to promote active lifestyles for children with disabilities. Just like what they did for Shamus in 2013.
The Bush's say they are grateful for groups like that wanting to make a difference in children's lives struggling with disabilities. "It's very near and dear to my heart," said Nathan Bush.
Eliza, and her seven brothers and sisters, say they will remember this gesture for a long time.
Shamus says the best part of the experience is seeing everyone's faces light up when they are given a chair. On September 1st, the Evans wrap up their trek at Citi Field where they are invited guests of the New York Mets.