Farming is a difficult career for most people, but a 12-year-old boy with muscular dystrophy is proving he’s up for the challenge.
John Ray was born with a rare congenital form of the muscular disease, causing his muscles to weaken. “When he was born his prognosis was not good. The doctors said with a lot of love they didn’t expect him to live this long,” shared John’s mother, Trina Reid, with Ontario Farmer.
Thankfully, John has proven doctors wrong by living life to the fullest. He helps his father, Donny Ray, who is busy driving truck, raising livestock and growing produce to be sold at farmers’ markets and in the family’s farm shop, reported Aleteai.
Due to John’s disability, he was very restricted in his movements and how much he could help out on the farm. His regular wheelchair wasn’t appropriate for farm life, so the family tried their best to accommodate him.
One day, Donny saw an all-terrain wheelchair, the Action Trackchair, but the family couldn’t afford its expensive price.
Luckily, Trina found a second-hand one and with the help of Donny’s employer, Wallenstein Feed & Supply Ltd., the family was able to buy the wheelchair, as a surprise for John.
Donny had to make some alterations to enable John to feed the livestock. John has also been able to help with the potato planting of the fields.
In a TikTok video, captioned “No disabilities here, only new abilities,” viewers see John at work in the barn and out in the fields.
“We planted 1,500 pounds of potatoes and hooked the wagon to the back of his chair. We just loaded it up and he pulled it down the row,” Donny shared. “That’s something he’s never been able to do before. Now, he can go anywhere.”
The family now need to solve further accessibility problems on the farm – something the family is more than ready to tackle. They think that if they can customize other equipment, John might be able to start his own grass cutting business.
With the support and determination of John’s family, his farming career looks bright.
“If John has taught me anything, it’s that perseverance is everything. There is nothing he says he can’t do,” shared his mother.