SHERWOOD, Ark. (KTHV) – One special 8-year-old boy is smiling extra big after a group of bikers and an entire community are stepping in and standing up for him.
Second grader Alex Bruorton has been staying home from school lately. His mom said kids are giving him a hard time because of the way he looks. Alex has a rare genetic condition called Clove’s Syndrome. The condition affects the left side of his face, causing body parts like his ear and eye to never stop growing.
“It doesn’t ever stop. He’ll have it for life,” Alex’s mom Nichole said. “It’s extremely rare. 300 to 400 people have been diagnosed with Clove's and facially like him there's only four or five of us that I know about."
Since Alex looks a little different on the outside, life at school has not come easy.
"He's dealt with bullying his whole life and he will deal with it his entire life," Nichole said. “He has grown up with it since we went to the playground when he was two. They played a game on the playground ‘Keep away from the monster.’”
Alex’s story prompted Nichole’s best friend Kim Davison to put up a Facebook post about what he has been going through. The post called for any bikers to escort him to school one day to show support for Alex. The post quickly went viral and has since gained over 900 shares.
"I've got a few biker friends and I was just like ‘Okay, I can take him to school with a few of my biker friends.’ So I posted, just figured maybe twenty people to come and now it's going to be a rally,” Davison said. “Way more than just a small pack of friends riding, now it's going to be a large pack of friends."
Bikers Against Child Abuse caught notice of the post and have since reached out to Alex and his family. A group of BACA members came out Thursday to go fishing with Alex.
"He is an incredible kid and we are so honored to meet him and he is our hero," BACA member Moose said. “We wanted one Alex to be a part of our family."
Alex's new pack of friends are making things a little easier.
"The mood that he's been in lately has just been really down and seeing him smile and I can see his dimples again. I hadn't seen those in a while,” Nichole said.
Despite the challenges Alex may encounter, he always has a smile on his face.
"I have all these people that are here for me this is my dream. I'm living my dream right now," Alex said.
BACA will ride to school with Alex Monday, October 9 at 10:30 a.m. Anyone is welcome to come out to Sherwood Forest and show support for Alex. Nichole said Sherwood Elementary has been very accommodating to Alex. She said they are working with him very closely to ensure he feels comfortable in the classroom and she is grateful for their patience.
If you want to learn more about Alex, visit their Facebook page at Our Life, The Story of Alexander Bruorton. To find a BACA chapter near you, go to bacaworld.org.