Cody's Wheels of Hope

How we got started.

as told by Kris. (Cody's Father)

Many people ask me, "So, how did you guys get started?". Well, here is the long and short of it from my point of view.

To truly understand what my original motivation was, I need to tell you a little story about Cody's willingness to make others happy. In late 2003, Cody was undergoing high dose theropy at the Cleveland Clinic. He would have treatment anywhere from 5 to 12 days in a row. Living in a different state, it was better to stay at the local Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland then to drive back and forth. Cody had been receiving new hotwheels from me for doing well at the hospitial. This one week that I can remember so clearly, there was a family from the middle-east there.

One morning he saw the family's young son sitting at a table playing with some of the toys from the house. He asked me if he could "play hotwheels" with him later. I said, "Sure, but I'm not sure if he'll know what hotwheels are." Cody looked at me in such shock. I had to explain that the little boy was from another part of the world and that it may be possible that he has never had a hotwheel car before. I asked him if he understood, and he gave me a slow nod of the head. We ate breakfast and were about to get on our way. Cody asked if we could stop by the room before we went to the clinic. While in the room he grabbed a few small toys and one unopened hotwheels. As we came down the stairs the little boy came into view. Cody then asked me a question I will never forget. My Son, a lover of all his toys, looked up at me and said, "Can I give him this so he will know what a hotwheel is?" I was still for a moment and then told him that would be fine with me. He proceeded to walk into the room, right upto the table where the little boy and his family were still sitting, talking to each other. He placed the tiny car on the table just a few inches from the boy and said, "Here you go. This is a hotwheel." He then turned around and walked back to me in the hall and asked if I was ready to go. It was that simple for him. It was that spirit that drove me to give his bike away to another child after he passed.

Not long after Febuary 4th of 04, I decided to take his bike to Cleveland. I had spoken with a few of his nurses and his doctor, Dr. Levien before hand and explained the reason for my visit. When I arrived at the clinic, I was greeted by a mix of people giving their condolences. I gave the bike to the Child Life Specilist. I was then infomed that there was more then one boy the bike could go to, and was then asked if I wanted to make the choice of which one got it. I declined, not ready to even think about such things. While on my way home, I called my parents house and explained what had happened. Later, my father was in the company of friends and explained to them the days events. The following day he informed me that he received just under $100 dollars from people hearing of the news. "That should be enough to get a bike for the other two boys, don't you think?", he asked. In fact, it was enough for those two and a girls bike of the same size. So I packed 3 assembled bikes into my two door pontiac, and went on my way back to Cleveland the next week. The bikes were received with great joy from the staff. Once again, I called my parents on my way home. I was asked a simple question by my father. "Your mother and I were talking about it, and we wondered how'd you feel about doing this all the time?" I did not pause. I did not need to.

Just months before this, a fund raiser was held for Cody by a large group of my former co-workers. Most of that money was never able to be used on Cody directly. That, plus other funds received for him, were in an account. After donating a good amount away we were not sure what to do with it. When I was asked that question, any doubts were washed away.

Now, at first I just figured that we'd give out bikes and toys untill the money ran out. Then, one day, we received our first donation. The rest is history.