Why I Love When People Underestimate Him Because of the Way He Walks

This is the story of my husband, Harvey Dawkins. Harvey was born with cerebral palsy, but his mom never saw him as being disabled, so around the age of 3, she did what most parents of able-bodied children do: she bought him a tricycle.

This is where Harvey’s story really begins. He soon discovered that it was far easier for him to ride then walk. It was then that a bike became a lifelong part of Harvey’s world.

When he was a teenager, he decided one day to “run away,” so he got on his bike and rode from Bensalem to South Philadelphia, which was about a 60-mile ride. It was then that his love of long-distance or endurance riding came to be.

When he got older, he found that he could combine his love of cycling with his desire to help others.

His first opportunity came with a charity ride to raise money for a paraplegic young man. After that event, friends and coworkers persuaded him to do the MS 150 City to Shore ride in honor of a coworker with multiple sclerosis.

Since that time, Harvey has competed in nine of those rides, as well as adding MS rides in five other states. It is his goal to ride in the MS 150 rides in all 50 states. In addition to doing his charity rides, he has also taken up triathlons, which consists of swimming 400 yrds, biking 16 miles, and doing a 5K run.

I’m amazed at the amount of people who underestimate him solely based on the way he walks. I love when a group of cyclists who don’t know him kind of mock what he might be able to do on a bike, that only lasts until they see him ride. Harvey is a truly amazing individual with a huge heart.

The Mighty is asking its readers the following: Describe the moment someone changed the way you think about disability and/or disease. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please  include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio.

Want to end the stigma around disability? Like us on Facebook.

And sign up for what we hope will be your favorite thing to read at night.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Cerebral Palsy

Watch This 8-Year-Old’s Emotional Return to Dance After Life-Altering Accident

Alissa Sizemore, 7 at the time, was playing in her neighborhood in Naples, Utah on May 6, 2014, when she ran into the street and was hit by a UPS truck, Desert News reported. The truck’s right tire came to a stop on Alissa’s right foot. Fast forward a year and Alissa has not only [...]

When My Son Asked, ‘Mommy, Do I Have Asperger’s?’

I’ll never forget the day my son came out from his bath, wrapped in his Sesame Street towel, and asked, “Mommy, do I have Asperger’s?” I was immediately filled with shock and relief. My husband wasn’t home and I knew this was a conversation we needed to have with him together. I scrambled for my [...]

7 Tips for People With Special Needs Looking for a Job

Embarking on a career search can be daunting, particularly if you’re a job applicant with special needs. Having a physical or intellectual disability can make tasks like developing a resume, filling out an application and preparing for an interview exceedingly difficult without support, and children with special needs don’t always have the same opportunities to develop [...]

Prom Photo Spreading Important Down Syndrome Message Goes Viral

Mikenzy Snell and Matt Pliska became fast friends after they were paired up on a school field trip in fifth grade, WTNH News reported. Now, both juniors at Waupaca High School in Wisconsin, the pair have an important message to share with the world. Pliska, who has Down syndrome, asked Snell to prom a year ago. She [...]