Noah Aldrich didn't want his disabled brother, Lucas, to miss out on a local youth triathlon, so the 8-year-old pushed and pulled him through all three events.
NBC's "Today" show reported
that Lucas, 6, was born with a rare condition known as lissencephaly, which makes him unable to walk or swim on his own. When Noah heard that the local YMCA in Boise, Idaho, was holding a mini-triathlon, he asked his parents if he and Lucas could compete together. They said yes, and the family began training the next day.
For three months, the pair trained for the July 12 race, and they prepared the boys' equipment.
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On the big day, Noah dove into the swimming portion of the event with a rope attached his life vest, and towed his brother on a raft. During the next event, biking, the family rigged up a trailer, and for the final event Noah pushed Lucas across the finish line in a wheelchair made for the outdoors.
The boys' parents were proud of their sons, and said they weren't surprised that they'd do it together. They're a very active family, and they've taken Lucas with them on 4-wheeler rides, adaptive skiing, and they went on a Make-A-Wish trip to Disneyworld.
"They have an amazing bond. They’re best friends and they do everything together," said mom Alissa Aldrich. "The connection and the love that they share is truly unique."
"I like everything about him, he's perfect," Noah told NBC News affiliate KTVB
. "I like to watch cartoons, he likes to watch Mickey Mouse. He's just like every other kid out there."
Alissa has spent the past year communicating with non-profits and medical organizations to start her own organization named after her son, Lucas House, and the family wore the organization's t-shirts during the triathlon. She hopes the organization will facilitate pet therapy, music therapy, aquatic therapy, arts and crafts, and more for special needs children and their parents.
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