16-year-old Beaver Bank teen battling cancer gets 'awesome' ATV

John Brown, a 16-year-old battling cancer, is now the proud owner of a brand new all terrain vehicle after family and staff at Freedom Cycle in Bayers Lake surprised him with Friday afternoon.

'I've been using this bike to keep his spirits up,' says his dad of the ATV businesses bought

John Brown, centre, hugs his mother and father Friday after a surprise gift. (Anjuli Patil/CBC)

John Brown, a Beaver Bank, N.S. teenager battling cancer, is now the proud owner of a brand new all terrain vehicle after family and staff at Freedom Cycle in Bayers Lake surprised him with it Friday afternoon. 

"It's awesome," said Brown, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in October.

When another charity offered to grant him a wish, he donated it to another patient when they couldn't get him the ATV.

"I didn't want to go to Disneyland or anything like that so it wasn't good for me, but I really like this," Brown said, adding he's been driving ATVs since he was 5 years old. Brown says hopes he'll get a chance to take it out for a spin before his next round of chemotherapy.

'He's been after this bike for a while'

The blue Polaris ATV has four wheel drive. It retails for approximately $7,000 before taxes. Polaris Canada, Mod-U-Form, Sutton Motors and Trailer Rentals as well as Freedom Cycle all pitched in to buy it.

John Brown (middle) with his mother and father thought they were coming to Cycle Freedom to fill out paper work. (Anjuli Patil/CBC)

"He's been after this bike for a while and he's been a bit down on his luck lately, so we thought we'd come together and present him with this new ATV," said Randy Sutton, general manager of Freedom Cycle.

The biggest reaction to the bike came from Brown's father, Don. He said thought the family was going to the shop Friday afternoon to fill out financing papers.

Even though money has been tight — with both parents taking time off work to be with their son through his medical appointments — they wanted to get him the ATV.

Meaningful gift

"I've been using this bike to keep his spirits up, you know what I mean? He's been looking forward to it and looking forward it. Every day we'd go to the hospital and he'd say, 'Can we go by and look at it? Can we go by and look at it?'," the happy dad said.

"It's unbelievable. Nothing like this has every happened in my life. It's just truly, truly amazing."

In addition to the ATV, Brown also is getting riding gear with a helmet, two safety training courses and a one year membership to the Beaver Bank ATV Club.

A crowdfunding page has been set up to help the Brown family cover medical and household bills.

About the Author

Anjuli Patil


Anjuli Patil is a reporter and occasional video journalist with CBC Nova Scotia's digital team.


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