BOISE -- 6-year-old Lucas Aldrich has a rare neurological condition called lissencephaly. It means he'll never walk, talk, or eat on his own.
But, Lucas' loving parents are dedicated to making sure he has the best life possible. His 8-year-old brother Noah is his best friend.
"They definitely have a special bond, the two of them," said dad Brian. "You see Lucas light up so much when Noah enters the room. It just brings a smile to your face when you see the love between the boys."
"I like everything about him, he's perfect," said Noah about his little brother.
They do the things most brothers do together, like taking bike rides around the neighborhood and watching television.
"I like to watch cartoons, he likes to watch Mickey Mouse," said Noah. "He's just like every other kid out there."
Lucas was born with lissencephaly.
"They said he'd be non-verbal, be in a wheelchair, not be able to eat, and have a shortened life span," said mom Alissa. "He's doing way better than we ever expected."
Alissa is already creating a legacy for her special son - a non-profit called Lucas House.
"Pet therapy, music therapy, aquatic therapy, arts and crafts. Being a special needs mom is a blessing, but a huge challenge," said Alissa. "It'll be a chance for parents to get some respite, because often caring for a special needs child can be overwhelming."
"I've spent the last 8 months to a year just talking to groups, non-profits, medical organizations, hospitals in the valley just to get the word out."
It's a grassroots effort she's determined to make a reality and she's also determined to give her boy a joyful life without limits.
A LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS
"He's been on a plane ride, a 4-wheeler ride, adaptive skiing, he got a Make-a-Wish trip of a lifetime, he got to go to disneyworld," said Alissa."He does everything with us, and we want him to experience everything in life."
"We're a very active family and we love do to bike and run and stuff and we want him to be a part of that," said Brian.
The Aldrich family heard about the YMCA Kids Club Program - and a kids triathlon. That's when Noah had an idea.
"He said Mom, I want to do this with my brother," said Alissa. "That's where the idea was born and I think the next day we started training."
The boys trained hard for the big race - running, biking and swimming together to get ready, Noah pushed and pulled his brother right along with him.
When the big day came, Team Lucas House was ready to roll.
Noah swam, biked, and ran, all with his little brother in tow. It was exhausting, and an incredible show of strength and love for his little brother.
"It was really exciting to watch them and a little nerve wracking as parents, but they did so good and we're proud of them," said Alissa.
Noah did it for Lucas. An inspiration for all who saw it, and something this family will never forget.
You can learn more about the Aldrich brothers and Lucas House here.
For the Aldrich Family Blog, click here.
And, for Lucas' Caring Bridge page, click here.