In 2013, you helped dreams come true for 11-year-old Jason Lamont as he embarked on the trip of a lifetime to Walt Disney World Resort® in Florida. Jason, who has always had an affinity for mechanics, recalls being fascinated by the technicality of how all the rides operated at Disney. So much so, that this same passion has now translated into a career and the opening of his own bike repair shop at just 21 years old.
“I’m very mechanically inclined, I was that way as a kid. I was fascinated with mechanics and what not, so it was quite interesting to me to learn how some of the rides worked at Disney. My favourite ride was the miniature speedway. I think, on the day of the Sunshine DreamLift, I rode that ride at least three times.”
Jason has an eye condition called retinopathy of prematurity that has caused blindness. A few summers ago, he attended a bike repair course where he learned to adjust brakes, gears, and change tire tubes at Ontario Cycles in Listowel. He has become so familiar with his craft in the past few summers that he is able to rely entirely on touch, not sight, for every bicycle repair and adjustment that he performs. He now runs his own bike repair shop.
Jason went on his first trip to Disney through a Sunshine DreamLift in 2013 and enjoyed it so much that he ended up going again with his family through an individual Sunshine Dream the following year. The trip worked out at a perfect time for their family as they were able to reunite with some of their extended family members living in Florida.
He recalls the excitement and joy he felt the moment his dreams were brought to reality,
“The day I found out that we were actually going to do it, I was at school, and I came home, and my sister and I were just ecstatic,” says Jason. “I was very curious, and I wanted to explore everything back then. I’m still that way, but I guess obviously going to Disney opened me up to a lot - I’d never been on a plane before so that was kind of my first time doing that, and then being able to go on rides and see things that I never thought I’d get to see.”
Jason hasn’t let his curiosity for the world tire since then. He is now a P.A. announcer for a local hockey team in Seaforth, Ontario, and enjoys playing the drums and guitar in his spare time. When asked to describe his experience with Sunshine, Jason says “you would have to experience it for yourself.”
“I can talk about my experiences, but that doesn’t describe the impact that they have. It opened my eyes up to the fact that there are complete strangers out there in the world who will help people living with disabilities.”