Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things. We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements.
If you, or someone that you know, has a special skill, talent or ability, be sure to let Amazing Kids! know about it! Simply complete our Amazing Kids! of the Month online nomination form!
Raising Money for Disabled Children Through Cycling
Quote of the Month
“There is no greater feeling than helping someone else and your community.”
-Joseph Machado, 13 year old bicyclist raising money for disabled children
Joseph Machado, October Amazing Kid of the Month
At only 13 years old, Joseph Machado has an enormous heart and a whole lot of perseverance! This past summer, Joseph dedicated most of his summer to riding his bike across America in hopes of raising money for children that are disabled. Not only did he bike 3,000 miles in all kinds of weather, he ultimately raised $30,000 for disabled and disadvantaged kids! Joseph’s accomplishment proves that you are never too young to start making a difference. Each of us has the power to make a huge impact in the world.
Joseph’s heart and desire to make a difference is why we are proud to call Joseph Machado our latest Amazing Kid! of the Month for November.
How Joseph Biked Across America!
On June 5th, Joseph left Central Park in Rancho Cucamonga, California on his bicycle and headed towards Washington DC.
During his journey, Joseph had the support of many people around him. Not only did his family drive behind him in their SUV, but they also had the support of firefighters, police officers, and churches, just to name a few.
“We are so grateful to the many people who helped keep Joseph safe and provide a place to sleep,” Elvira Machado explains. “We slept in fire stations, police stations, bomb shelter, churches, pastor’s homes, homeless shelter and sometimes a hotel would comp our rooms,” she adds.
While Joseph was riding his bike, his family followed behind him at about 20 feet, carrying with them vital supplies such as bike supplies, an extra bike, spare tires, and nutritionals. “At the beginning of the trip cars would pass us and then cut in at the last moment narrowly missing Joseph. We learned that we had to stay as close as possible to shield him from this,” Joseph’s father, Robert, says. Joseph’s family had a lot of responsibilities, including coordinating with the police, making sure Joseph was safe, and helping Joseph out every time he stopped.
Riding across the country can have many ups and downs. For Joseph, he likes to remember all the positive things that have happened. “I was able to meet with various groups such as kids at Camp Quality (a camp for kids with cancer), Cincinnati Aquatic Program for disabled kids, etc.
I enjoyed meeting people in different states that were so kind and hospitable.” A touching story Joseph recalls is meeting a 9 year old boy named Rudy who was born at only 22 weeks with oxygen deprivation in his brain. Now Rudy is receiving the treatments he needs that total over $11,000.
Joseph Machado: Biking for America
After seeing Joseph riding his bike, you might be surprised to hear that before this he was temporarily in a wheel chair for various sporting injuries. “I was one of the lucky ones who got out of my wheelchair and wanted to do something to help disadvantaged kids,” Joseph explains.
Being temporarily disabled helped to inspire Joseph to ride his bike across America.
Throughout the intense summer temperatures that got as high as 120 degrees, the humidity, rainstorms, and fatigue, there were a lot of things that could have made Joseph give up. He was even attacked by a swarm of bees, and one of the bees stung him inside his mouth. But through it all Joseph had one thing in mind. “My goals were to raise money for disadvantaged kids, encourage kids to support their communities and let kids know they are never too young to make a difference,” he says.
Even the heartiest among us would probably admit that if we were in Joseph’s shoes, we might find ourselves complaining at least a little bit after such tiring and long days. But amazingly enough, Joseph never complained!
“He continued to show great heart and character day after day,” Joseph’s father, Robert Machado, says. “Never, not even once, did he complain or even suggest that the trip was too much for him! He never complained that it was too hot, or that he was too sore, or that he might need an extra days rest,” he adds.
It is easy to see that what helped Joseph make it through such a grueling journey was his huge heart: “While he was riding across the country, he was on TV and newspaper almost daily. He would not watch himself on TV because, in his heart, he was doing this for the kids,” Joseph’s mother, Elvira Machado, explains.
Joseph’s Amazing Future
Joseph confidently states that he plans on continuing to raise money for disabled children, to encourage kids to support their communities, and to inspire kids to make a difference. Joseph particularly would like to encourage kids to follow their dreams. “Ask your parents, teachers, pastors, [or other adult mentors in your life] for advice on how to reach your goals. Remembering that no matter what problems you are having in your life that you can still make a difference.” Joseph also acknowledges that along the way he has had many inspirations including his parents, sister, brother, police officers, firefighters, Fred and Rita Nelsen, San Bernardino County Supervisor Paul Biane, Fire Captain Jim Townsend, bike shops, and local government. With the right people encouraging and supporting him, Joseph will continue to make a great impact in the world!
Ultimately, one of the most amazing facts about Joseph is that through all the fame, media, and recognition he has gotten, he still says that his biggest accomplishment is helping the children! From finding himself temporarily confined to a wheelchair not that long ago, to now riding his bike 3,000 miles he has made one incredible and inspiring transformation. Amazing Kids! is proud to shine the spotlight on Joseph’s story: the determined boy with a heart we’ll always remember, who rode his bicycle across America to raise $30,000 for disabled children. Keep up the great work, Joseph. You are truly one amazing kid!
Joseph’s Many Other Amazing Accomplishments!
● Joseph received the Barnum Gold Award which donated $1000 to a charity
● June 24th, 2010 was declared Joseph Machado day by Gov. Henry of Oklahoma
● Mayor Mallory declared July 7th, 2010 Joseph Machado day in Cincinnati
● Bedford, Indiana made Joseph an honorary Fire Fighter and he received an official firefighter’s badge
● Joseph was featured on the Fred Roggin Show. Watch it here: