The Joseph Thomas Foundation brings together 'medically fragile' children for triathlon

POSTED: 9:02 PM Feb 08 2014   UPDATED: 8:44 AM Feb 10 2014
ABILENE, Texas -

A local organization gave dozens of kids with disabilities a day to forget their troubles.

The Joseph Thomas Foundation has been offering financial support and help for medically fragile children in the Abilene area for seven years. The organization hosted its annual triathlon Saturday.

The triathlon consisted of the kids playing putt-putt golf, bowling and skeeball at no cost at PrimeTime Family Entertainment Center.

John Thomas, president and CEO of the foundation, created the Joseph Thomas Foundation for his son who had special needs and died seven years ago.

"Coming to this event is the most heart warming day of the year. It's a celebration and it's tough because we have the event the closest Saturday to Joseph's birthday every year and so I spend a lot of time thinking about Joseph," Thomas said.

Cheryl Stone, who brought her daughter to the event, said it was refreshing to have her daughter around other kids who can understand her situation.

"It's good for the kids. They get to interact with other children with similar or the same disabilities," Stone said.

Shelby, Stone's daughter who has triplegia cerebral palsy, was able to hang out with kids like Hunter Thomas, who has autism.

Jamie Thomas, Hunter's mom, said she couldn't have made it without the help of the Joseph Thomas Foundation.

"Having a special needs child myself I know the feeling that parents have...'How do I pay for this? How do I get this for my child without putting a price tag on my child?'" Thomas said.

That's where John and his foundation come in.

"Once Joseph passed we really wanted to continue his memory and his legacy and so we thought what's a better way than to help fill those gaps that we found when going through it," John said.

According to John, they have spent more than $30,000 buying materials and prescriptions for families with children in need.

If you are interested in donating, click on the link to visit their website.