A 13-YEAR-OLD boy, who was told he could never walk by doctors, is hitting the streets in a specially adapted bike.

Jason Bettles can feel the wind in his hair thanks to his specially adapted dual-pedal bicycle which helps him keep active.

Jason, from Church, was diagnosed with chromosome translocation, which results in an unusual rearrangement of the chromosomes during pregnancy.

This delayed the boy’s brain development and has left him unable to speak and with fewer functions.

His mum Louise Bettles and stepdad Andy Whitaker were concerned about his physical wellbeing, particularly that he would suffer more health problems when he got older if he was unable to be active.

The couple, with the help of friends, managed to raise more than £4,000 for the special adapted bike which allows Jason to ride along with his parents or one of his six siblings.

Mr Whitaker said doctors told him Jason would never be able to walk and would have a short life expectancy because of this.

He said: “It’s given him the freedom to go outside and have a greater sensory filled experience.

“We were really worried about his physical health and concerned he would only be able to go outside in a wheelchair.

“We might not see the health benefits now but in the future we may do.

“The bike allows him to exercise and do everything his siblings do. His mood changes when he sits on his bike. He could go out on it all day.”

Jason, who goes to Broadfield Specialist School, Oswaldtwistle, was born two months prematurely weighing an alarming 2lbs and 14oz.

He spent his first four weeks in intensive care.

He also contracted pneumonia and was forced to revisit hospital on a weekly basis.

The couple, along with friends Mick and Amanda Clegg, set up Jason’s Wheels Community Trust and are trying to raise money to fund more bikes and provide ‘cycle days’ and give other children in a similar position a chance to ride.

Mr Clegg said: “Movement is crucial for cognitive development.

“For children with special needs, this movement component may be more difficult.

“Adaptive cycles are a wonderful addition for an active outdoors family, because it truly allows for everyone to be included.”

Jason and his family attended the Accy Bike Fest, a new event aimed at getting more people into cycling, and was able to show off his mode of transport.

Ms Bettles said: “He loved every minute of it.

“He met lots of new people and lots of people came over to speak to him and have a sit on his bike.

“When we found out Jason had chromosome translocation we had to take it in our stride and carry on.”

The trust has organised a fundraising ball to take place on Saturday, May 11, at Accrington Town Hall’s ballroom at 7.30pm.

Tickets for the event can be bought by calling 01254 433880 or visiting www.jasonswheels.org.