In July, after cycling 3,200 miles from Miami to Spokane through heat, wind and quarter-size hail, endurance athlete Hector Picard met the toddler he was riding for: Jameson Davis, who, like Picard, is a double arm amputee.
Jameson was born in Spokane in April 2012, with a condition called bilateral trans-radial congenital amputation — both his tiny arms end around the elbow, without forearms or hands. His parents, Jim and Brooke Davis, turned to the community for help earlier this year for help with the $25,000 price tag for his first pair of prosthetics.
Right now, insurance covers less than half the cost. They hope insurance may cover as much as 80 percent in the future, but with each more complex set costing upwards of $100,000, the long-term cost for the Davis family is high — and multiplied, since Jameson will need new prosthetics as he gets older.
"He'll need nine or 10 sets before he's full grown," his father says.
Picard heard about Jameson through a mutual friend, and he read the blog (davisday2day.wordpress.com) that Jameson's mother has been writing since he was born. In 1992, at age 24, Picard lost both his arms after an electrical accident at work. He turned the misfortune into a challenge, and has since become an Ironman triathlete and motivational speaker. He chronicled the journey to Spokane with daily updates, each one ending with a short message addressed to Jameson: "Today I rode my bike so high up, it felt like I could touch the clouds. I'm having a wonderful experience on way to meeting you and your mom and dad."
Picard is a role model for children like Jameson, Jim Davis says, and an inspiration for everyone who has followed along with his trip. "He's living proof of what can be accomplished," he says.