A 2012-13 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® hero
Video courtesy of WXOW Channel 19.
Meet 7-year-old Caleb Berger of Melrose, Wis. He’s the son of Steven and Amy Berger, little brother to three older sisters, a soon-to-be 2nd grader at Melrose Elementary and a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals hero.
A rite of passage for most kids Caleb’s age is the freedom of their first bicycle. Caleb spends much of his days getting around on wheels—a wheelchair that is—because he is living with cerebral palsy. But just like other kids, Caleb was excited to get his first “big kid bike” earlier this summer.
On his bike, Caleb can feel independent and heroic as he meets this new challenge head on. “Riding on his own or with sisters you should hear the giggles,” Amy says. The Bergers were able to purchase this adaptive bicycle for Caleb with help from Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals®, a service of Gundersen Medical Foundation.
“CMN Hospitals has meant so much to our family by providing us with extra funds needed to make our life a little easier,” the Bergers explain. “When Caleb was born, they provided gas money so we could make frequent trips to be with Caleb in the hospital while taking care of our other children at home. Most recently they provided us with gas and food money so we could take Caleb to Decorah for an intensive physical therapy program.”
Despite the challenges of cerebral palsy, Caleb is a lot like other kids his age. He enjoys swimming, playing with trucks, music and, of course, riding his new green bike. Unlike a lot of kids his age, Caleb claims to have 10 girlfriends. Meet Caleb and it’s easy to see why. He’s a charmer with matinee idol good looks, complete with a dimple in his chin, and an easy smile and laugh. Maybe that’s why, around their hometown it seems that everyone knows Caleb, especially now that he’s been officially recognized as the hero they always knew he was (he even has the cape to prove it).
The Bergers say they are honored that Caleb was selected as a CMN Hospital hero. And Caleb is enjoying his hero status. He was in the North Bend Days Parade and the local newspaper, and he was honored as a hero at a La Crosse Loggers baseball game where he enthusiastically ran the bases cheered on by the crowd.
“Thank you CMN Hospital. This is a wonderful program,” acknowledge the Bergers with sincere gratitude.