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Boy's wheelchair ride in skatepark shows family's drive to keep life normal

After a 2008 video went viral again last week, the family of the skateboarding boy in a wheelchair talks about life 7 years later.
/ Source: TODAY Contributor

It's a touching video that resurfaces on social media every few years: Michigan dad Jason McGee pushes his stepson, Logan, in a wheelchair down a skateboard ramp, much to Logan's utter delight.

Originally taken 7 years ago, the video appeared again last week, garnering millions of views, shares and comments of support from those who watched it and were touched by McGee’s efforts to help his son experience skateboarding despite his physical challenges.

Keri Fleury, Logan’s mother, took to the comment sections of some posts, praising her now ex-husband’s parenting and telling of the love he has always shown to Logan, who is now 10.

Fleury says McGee entered her son’s life when he was an infant. The two married and had two additional children, Leviathan, 8, and Axel, 4. And, although the pair ended their marriage five years ago, Fleury says they are learning to become best friends and to co-parent their boys.

McGee and Logan, ride bumper cars together at a community festival.Courtesy of Keri Fleury

“When parents divorce, you don’t tell your kids that their dad is now their ex-dad…We never told Logan that Jason is no longer his stepdad,” Fleury told TODAY Parents. “He will always be Papa to our three boys because you don’t divorce children.”

According to Fleury, Logan was born dead after being strangled by the umbilical cord. After being resuscitated and placed on a ventilator, Logan suffered permanent brain damage.

Logan has completed several races through myTEAM TRIUMPH, an organization that arranges for non-walking individuals to experience races and triathlons by being pulled along the course.Courtesy of Keri Fleury

Today, Logan is nonverbal and cannot walk, and faces many physical challenges brought about by his cerebral palsy, autism, and epilepsy. Fleury has made it her mission to give her son the experiences he would otherwise miss out on — skateboarding, competing in triathlons, and traveling the world.

Fleury, Logan, and little brother Leviathan at Delicate Arch in Utah.Courtesy of Keri Fleury

“What 10-year-old boy shouldn’t have these experiences? Imagine being locked in a cage — a cage where you cannot speak one word and you are unable to walk,” said Fleury. “In a nutshell, this is Logan. His body is his cage…the very least I can do is put forth every effort of my being to help him reach his potential and attempt to give him the best quality of life possible.”

Logan's brother, Leviathan, pushes his wheelchair through a splash pad.Courtesy of Keri Fleury

McGee has remained close with Logan since the divorce. He considers it a privilege to help care for his stepson and says he was surprised by the praise he received last week when the video went viral.

“I think it touches people because most people don’t think of handicapped people as more than the name of their disability, or the chair or crutches that they use to assist themselves,” said McGee. “A lot of people are given a similar situation and view it as a burden…We have chosen the path of the victor —we had to because Logan deserves to have people around him that are strong enough to not focus on the ‘can’ts’ but to figure out the ‘cans.’”

Logan is pulled to shore as a part of the Tri Del Sol triathlon, a race he also completed through myTEAM TRIUMPH.Courtesy of Keri Fleury

Fleury says that she hopes the video continues to help people become more comfortable with individuals who face a disability and see them as human beings, rather than shy away from their differences.

"Even though Logan is different, we don't treat him different. There is a lot more to Logan beyond his wheelchair," said Fleury.Courtesy of Keri Fleury

“Nothing is ‘wrong’ about anyone — it’s simply ‘different,’” said Fleury. “We are not given a choice for every situation we are given, but we all have a choice in how we handle every situation.”