Hewitt Wheless promised Jayden Litke a chance to go Cruisin’ with the big guys when he delivered the 7-year-old a special-needs tricycle from Texas on Sunday.
On Tuesday, Wheless made good on the promise with the help of his Cruisin’ The Coast friends. They showed up in a parking lot near Wal-Mart on their way to the Moss Point Cruisin’ event and let Jayden pick what cars he wanted to cruise around in.
“Anything the boy wants,” said Glenda Creatore, one of Wheless’ friends. “We love kids.”
Wheless, a longtime Cruiser, lives in Longview, Texas, and belongs to an AMBUCS club whose goal it is to help people with disabilities be more mobile and independent. Jayden, of Ocean Springs, has a certain type of cerebral palsy and was on a national wish list for a specially designed tricycle.
Wheless knew he was coming to Cruisin’ so he volunteered to bring the AMTryke to Jayden. The two met on Sunday. The tricycle was a total surprise for Jayden.
It is a $1,500 piece of equipment that his physical therapist, Sarah Pannell, knew would do him good. And in two days, it already has.
Jayden rode his tricycle for four hours on Sunday, his mother, Megan Graham, told the Sun Herald. And he was on it for another three hours on Monday.
But Wheless added to the fun when he promised Jayden that he and his friends would take him Cruisin’.
Six cars showed up in the Baber’s parking lot near Wal-Mart on Tuesday morning and a dozen Cruisers enjoyed letting Jayden pick his ride.
Wearing pirate leg braces he designed himself, Jayden picked the Shelby Cobra, owned by Larry and Glenda Creatore of Gardendale, Alabama. He also rode in a yellow Plymouth GTX before finally riding with Wheless in his 1955 Studebaker Commander.
The driver of the GTX did a burnout in the parking lot and swore it was Jayden’s idea.
“That’s a good boy, right there,” the driver said. “That’s a good boy.”
When asked his favorite part of the morning Cruisin’, Jayden said, “All of it.”