GETZVILLE, N.Y. -- It’s been a year and a half since a tragic car crash at Delaware Park killed a young boy.
Since that time, Maksym Sugorovskiy’s parents, Mary and Wally, have put their efforts into Maksym’s Giving Tree, a foundation that seeks to spread a message of kindness and generosity.
Mary and Wally found an opportunity to share their kindness with 11-year-old Nate Frier.
"Nate’s been asking for a bike. He loves to go for walks,” said Nate’s father, Ed.
Nate has severe special needs. He has Fragile X syndrome, which affects his behavior and how he learns, and he also has autism. Ed said a two-wheeler bicycle just wouldn’t work for his son, who struggles with balance.
Ed and his wife Valerie wanted to get Nate a special, adaptive three-wheeler with a larger seat, but these types of therapeutic bikes are quite expensive.
Ed and Val heard that Maksym’s Giving Tree Foundation had started a project called Maksym’s Wheels, which gives just the kind of bike Nate needed to eligible children.
"The use of a therapeutic bicycle really hit home for us because our daughter, Stephanie, she's had to use a therapeutic bicycle as well to aid in her recovery,” said Mary Sugorovskiy.
Ed and Val reached out to Mary and Wally, and after a lot of correspondence, the Sugorovskiys decided Nate was the right child to receive this unique bicycle.
The Sugorovskiys delivered it to the Friers home on Wednesday evening.
"It's great the way we can turn something that was very tragic into something that's very...powerful and just a way to express the life of Maksym,” said Ed.
"Because of our son Maksym, and his kindness, and his giving, and because of his...short life here, we are able to afford Nate the opportunity to own and ride a bike of his very own,” said Mary.
The Friers have their hands full with a special needs son; Ed says every single day is an emotional one.
But he looks to the Sugorovskiys, who lost their child last May, and finds perspective.
"I try to relate to what we go through, and it's just very, very minor to actually losing a child, and I hope this gives them hope as well to say that Maksym's name does live on,” said Ed.
Coincidentally, Nate and his family love visiting Delaware Park, so perhaps one day Nate will ride his new bicycle on the park road that has a memorial sign, which reads “Maksym Sugorovskiy Way.”