Chesterfield County boy with muscular dystrophy to compete in youth triathlon

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield boy with a rare form of muscular dystrophy competes this weekend in a youth triathlon.

6-year-old Ben Bumgarner will race on land and in water with the help of his older brother Zach.

It will be the third time the pair has competed in the event at the Virginia Home for Boys and Girls

“He just does the whole thing with a smile on his face,” the boys’ mother said, “you’ll hear Ben back there cheering him on and they have a great time with it.”

“It’s incredible. Every year I think I’m not going to cry and every year they cross the finish line and it’s a great feeling,” explains their mom, Beth.

Ben suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. He doesn’t have the muscle strength to swim, bike and run in the event. So 10-year-old Zach will pull his brother in a boat across the water, tow him in a trailer on his bike and push him in a jogging stroller to the finish line.

“When we go down (hill) on the bike that’s super fun,” says Ben. Adds Zach, “When we go downhill it’s like really fast, yeah.”

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“He just does the whole thing with a smile on his face,” the boys’ mother said, “you’ll hear Ben back there cheering him on and they have a great time with it.”

The boy’s sister Grace gets in on the action too.

It’s kind of cool because Ben doesn’t usually get to do stuff with us,” explains Grace, “And then when we found out that we got to do it with Ben, we were like woo hoo! Yay.”

“When we found out that we got to do it with Ben, we were like woo hoo! Yay.” – Ben’s sister Grace

The triathlon gives Ben the chance to do something with his brother and sister that he couldn’t do on his own.

Instead of watching from the sidelines, he will be alive in the moment.

“The older kids want to go to the jumpy places and Ben can’t really do that, so this triathlon is really a great opportunity for them to be able to do something together that they enjoy,” adds the kids’ mom.

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