A teenager who inspired so many, was rewarded on Friday night.
Tristan Joseph, a 14-year-old boy, lost his legs to a bacterial infection years ago, and now as a teen he just wants to ride a bike with his friends.
Viewers, with folks in his community, stepped up to help.
For years he's been an inspiration to so many people, and he's touched so many lives.
"Amazing, this little town is just amazing," said Craig Joseph, Tristan's father.
On Friday night there was a dinner and silent auction to help Tristan, but the effort to help him get what he's wanted for such a long time started with his fellow classmates.
One by one, neighbors, friends and even strangers joined the effort to help raise money to buy Tristan his own hand bicycle.
"I think it's cool that people are coming out and supporting me," said Tristan.
It's that support that has helped Tristan during his tough journey.
When he was only two years old, Tristan spent months in the hospital after he mysteriously contracted meningococcus.
Tristan survived the bacteria that nearly killed him, but he lost both of his legs from the knee down.
"It's been a heck of a road the last 12 years, but here he is, full grown," said Craig.
He's a full-grown teenager trying to do what teenagers like to do.
For several years Tristan has been hoping to have the same fun his friends have. To have the same freedom, every 14-year-old boy gets when he rides around on his own bike.
"For years, he's said ‘I want to get a bike, I want to get a bike,' but there's just so expensive," said Tristan's father.
All of the fundraising efforts paid off.
Nearly $10,000 was raised for the custom bike, and more money was still coming in.
Tristan knew he was supposed to get his bike sometime soon.
What he didn't know was he was getting that bike on Friday night.
As they read the winners of the silent auction, Tristan's new bike was wheeled in, surprising the 14-year-old.
"This is what our community can do. We started with a little goal, and we met it," said the school principal.
Many in the audience couldn't hold back their tears, touched by the outpouring of emotion, as Tristan took his first ride around the gym.
"I almost cried. I know I had my dad crying, and he never cries," said Tristan.
Now Tristan got to do what he had been hoping to do for so long.
"It feels great to be able to hang with people on bikes," added Tristan.
Everyone at the Faulconer – Chapman School gym was touched by what a small community can do to help a boy get his bike.
The family plans to use the extra money raised to help pay for Tristan's college, but Tristan is hoping to help another boy, who lost his legs to the same bacteria he did, and get him bike of his own.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
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