CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - It was the birthday party saved by a brotherhood of bikers who weren’t going to let prejudice ruin a Charlotte teen’s big day.
Jacio turned 15 this year, but it seemed he’d be celebrating alone.
“I started getting calls from the parents saying they didn’t want their kids coming because of Jacio’s disability,” mom Stephanie Patterson told FOX 46.
She says what’s worse was that this was the second year in a row that this happened to her son.
Jacio has Down Syndrome and autism, but he’s never let his challenges keep him down.
“I can’t even think of a reason why. I mean look at him, he’s amazing. You know, I just can’t imagine why? Who wouldn’t want to be around a most loving child?”
Stephanie vented her feelings in a Facebook group for parents of children with Down Syndrome.
“When I read that none of his friends wanted to attend, attend his party, you know it was crushing,” said Smiley Dutton, whose son also has Down Syndrome. “I thought about what if that was my son? And I had to do something.”
So he called on members of Bonded by Brotherhood, fellow bikers sworn to do good deeds.
“We’re focused on paying it forward, helping those that need help and um representing bikers in a positive manner,”
“It was a shock to have somebody want to do something for me and my son. Being a single mom and not having a lot of friends of my own. You know, when you have a child with a disability going and meeting people is hard,” Stephanie said.
And seeing Jacio’s reaction was everything.
“It melted my heart to the point I cried tears of joy for at least a day and I just kept thanking him over and over and letting him know how much of a blessing he is to me,” said Stephanie.
But Smiley says he’s the one who feels blessed.
“It’ll be a big party for his super 16,” he said.
And he has a message for everyone watching.
“Just ask yourself, what can I do? And do it.”