Dakota Cadd, also known as Bubba, loved trucks from a small age. Despite the illness, the boy, who lived in Milton, Wisconsin, USA, did not give up and always waved with joy to the truckers passing by. When the boy was recovering after a hard operation and could not go outside, the drivers decided to repay him and organize an unforgettable birthday surprise party for him.
Since birth, Dakota has been suffering from Dandy-Walker syndrome, which affects brain development and motor coordination. A 16-year-old boy moves in a wheelchair every day. Thanks to his passion and kindness towards truckers, he became recognizable in the local transport environment.
A few months ago he had to undergo a serious knee surgery and, according to the doctor’s instructions, he could not go outside for some time. His absence was noticed by the drivers.
One post changes everything
A retired truck driver, Jeremy Wallenkamp, lives about six miles from Dakota’s home. The trucker had the idea to leave a CH Hall Trucking t-shirt and a toy truck on the boy’s lawn.
Wallenkamp also made a post on Facebook asking truckers to send small gifts related to trucks, eg hats, shirts and other items, which he later wanted to give to the boy. Initially, the man also planned to contact a few local transport companies in this matter. He did expect what was coming. His post gained immense popularity on internet groups related to transport and logistics at an alarming rate. He received enormous support – that’s how the idea of organizing a birthday surprise for Dakota was born.
An unforgettable 16th birthday
Truckers, led by Wallenkamp, created a special event on Facebook, thanks to which they could inform more and more people about their initiative. The event was called „18 Wheels for Bubby.” The boy’s parents were also involved in the organization, and it was important for Dakota’s 16th birthday to be unforgettable.
I just want Dakota to smile. I want to show him support from the truckers. The support he deserves. The boy loves trucks. There are many great people in the trucking industry, and we just want to be with him on his birthday, support him and stand next to him,” said Wallenkamp in a conversation with truckersnews.com.
The event took place on August 18 at Schilberg Park in Milton. The turnout was good. The truckers arrived in the morning hours. About 180 trucks appeared on the birthday party! Some sources say that more than a thousand people took part in the event.
At the party, Bubba was also recognized as an honorary member of the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association, an international organization associating truck drivers. There were cakes, gifts, music, balloons. A truck show was also organized. In addition, there was a fundraiser from which donations collected on behalf of Dakota were transferred to the current needs of the local school.