BISMARCK, N.D. - There's no question that medical equipment is expensive, and for families with children who suffer from cerebral palsy, the Great American Bike Race is a great resource to have.
But, what if you don't need big things like a wheelchair, a modified bed or even a bike?
Let’s meet a family who's been assisted in other areas, besides equipment.
Collin Larson is a pretty normal seven-year-old.
“He's very active...on the move,” said Collin’s father, Zach Larson.
But if he's in the mood to just chill, you can catch him on the iPad getting some screen time.
Let's say it's a normal day at the Larson household.
“His brain is constantly moving,” said Zach.
If you watch his movements, you probably wouldn't guess Collin has cerebral palsy.
“Collin has a visual disturbance where he needs eye surgeries,” said Collin’s mother, Jeanie Larson. “People call it ‘lazy eyes’, and it's due to the injury of the brain.”
But just because he doesn't need help with mobility, doesn't mean treating the condition comes cheap.
“It's not always the doctor bills themselves that affect you the most--it's the stuff behind the scenes,” said Zach.
“He's your typical middle child,” said Zach.
Did I mention the Larsons are taking care of Collin, plus raising two other boys?
“It's the traveling 300 miles to the Cities,” said Zach. “And it's the gas, the restaurants...going out to eat. It's the hotels.”
But because Collin isn't mobility-challenged, the Larsons don't qualify for state funding.
“We are kind of the ones who fall through the cracks a lot,” said Jeanie.
Until they found out about the Great American Bike Race.
“The support amongst the community is really great,” said Zach.
“And they also helped cover part of the botox outpatient-surgical treatment that we had that insurance did not cover,” said Jeanie. “And with my high deductible, it's at least five to six thousand dollars out of pocket per year.”
Raising a child with cerebral palsy is no easy task--no matter the severity. But when some of the worry about money is taken away,
the real focus can be put back onto the ones that matter the most.