By Erika von Tiehl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A triathlon is a grueling test of physical stamina.
Swimming, cycling and running take a lot of strength and endurance.
But in some cases, it’s not just well-conditioned athletes taking part.
Six-year-old Tyler Sincavage has been through a lot in his life. He suffers from a rare brain disease that’s caused him to have four strokes and multiple surgeries.
“A lot of people will look at him like, ‘Why do those parents have that child out? He looks sick’…he’s sick, but he’s not sick to the point where he can’t do anything. Kids like him still need to go out , still like to socialize, still like attention,” says his mom, Amanda Sincavage.
That’s why Tyler is taking part in “Tri for Inclusion,” a mini-triathlon organized by Lehigh County charity group Mikayla’s Voice.
During the event, disabled children are partnered with able-bodied volunteers. First, they’ll get on rafts and “swim” 100 yards. Then, it’s three miles of cycling, to be finished off with a run of a little over a half-mile.
Ali Imboden is a nursing student who cared for Tyler and will run with him in this triathlon.
“The kids, they’re going to have disabilities, but their quirks are what make them special. I wouldn’t be doing this without Tyler’s quirks, and he wouldn’t be doing this without mine,” Imboden says.
Ali’s boyfriend Wes will be taking care of the cycling.
“It’s rewarding for the kids, and that’s what I’m doing it for. Kids like Tyler, they can’t get up and run around, so they need someone to not really do it for them, but to do it with them. That’s what I’m here to do,” Wes explains.
It’s a chance to see a child smile as they cross the finish line.
“The biggest smile ever – that’s what I’m racing for,” Ali says.
The Tri for Inclusion isn’t just for disabled children; all kids can take part. It’s happening June 29th at Parkland High School in Allentown.