A local group is working to make Milwaukee more accessible - one location at a time. Katie Crowther sat down with one family who couldn’t be more thankful.
Whenever the Goodman family visits downtown Milwaukee in the winter, they stop to watch the ice skaters at Red Arrow Park. Ice skating together has always been on their wish list. On Saturday, they’ll finally get the chance.
8-year-old Breon has cerebral palsy, and 12-year-old Jaylen is paralyzed from the waist down. TODAY'S TMJ4 was on the scene ten years ago, after Jaylen was shot in his own home. He was just two years old. The bullet hit his spinal cord.
“Being in a wheelchair is just part of my life,” Jaylen says.
“For him to be able to sit down and ice skate, it will be so much fun,” says his adoptive mom, Jessica Goodman. “He's just going to giggle away. He’s so excited.”
Jessica and Nick Goodman adopted Jaylen, Breon, and their older sister Lacey. All three of the children have special needs.
“Everyone calls it a disability,” Nick says. “But it’s not. It’s just that they have different abilities. These kids have brought so much to our life."
That’s the same message Ramp-Up MKE is trying to share. The group brought special wheelchairs to Bradford Beach last summer, to make the beach more accessible for everyone. Now, they’re bringing special sleds to Red Arrow Park, so everyone can get out and enjoy the ice.
For Jaylen and his family, it means not having to sit out anymore.
“I can be with my friends,” Jaylen says.
“It really is such a huge, positive step toward inclusion,” Jessica adds.
A couple of the new ice sleds will be unveiled at Red Arrow Park Saturday from 3-6 p.m. Everyone is welcome.