Local boy can finally skate with older brother thanks to adaptive sleds

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-For the first time ever, 11-year-old Jonah Bemiss is finally able to skate with his older brother. 

“It’s fun being on the ice,” said Jonah. 

This is thanks to Parks and Rec’s adaptive sleds. 

“It’s good to finally have him on the ice with me since he supported me for 12 years,” said Jonah’s older brother Elijah Bemiss. 

Elijah played hockey since he was a young boy. Jonah always wanted to skate with him, but wasn’t able to. 

“Jonah has cerebral palsy, Jonah had a stroke before he was born, and so he’s got right sided hemiplegia. Ice skating was not something he could do before. But the time he was an infant, he’s been out there cheering Elijah on playing hockey,”said mom Allison Bemiss. 

And now ice skating is something he can do! Bowling Green and Warren County Parks and Rec teamed up to apply for a grant to receive adaptive sleds for the SoKY ice rink. 

“It’s just a neat thing to be able to see somebody who otherwise would not be able to use the ice, be able to get out here and enjoy it alongside everyone in the community,” said BGPR Special Populations Coordinator Cameron Levis. 

The Parks and Rec departments were initially introduced to the sleds when the Sled Preds came to town a few years ago. 

The sleds are a great option to someone who has an intellectual, physical or mental disability and needs an alternative to ice skating. 

“It’s basically a seat on two blades. So you’re gonna be in a seated position on two blades just like an ice skate,” said Levis. 

To the boy’s parents, it means everything to watch the siblings skate together. 

“Do you like it when Elijah skates you fast or slow?” Allison asked Jonah. 

“Fast,” answered Jonah. 

Something they thought might never be possible. 

“Just for them to have the opportunity to skate together is just amazing. They look so free and happy and it’s just so exciting,” said Allison.