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Dad Competes in Triathlon with Disabled Daughter

Rick Van Beek via Facebook

Get the tissues ready! Rick van Beek recently competed in Michigan’s Sanford and Sun spring triathlon with his 13-year-old daughter Madison. The girl has cerebral palsy and can neither walk nor talk, so her devoted dad pulled her in a kayak and then in a cart behind his bike. He also ran while pushing her wheelchair in front of him, and carried her during transitions.

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"She functions like about a 3-month-old, and one of the very few things that we know she enjoys is being outside, being in the water, feeling the breeze in her hair and in her face, and going over all the bumps," Rick told the Midland Daily News.

The father-daughter duo have been running together for four years and doing triathlons for three. Rich gave up smoking and tobacco and got in shape for Maddy after seeing the look of joy on her face as she was pushed by a runner in a marathon. “I am her legs and she is my heart,” the dad wrote in his blog.

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Rick is forming a non-profit organization called "Team Maddy" that will raise funds to build equipment and adaptive devices for special-needs kids.

Do you know an amazing dad like Rich van Beek? Leave a comment.

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