HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- December is a month that encourages giving back. That has been evident lately. This Christmas, another positive story has shown that generosity pays off, through a friendship that spans hundreds of miles.
Summer Allmon is a Tennessee Valley native who met 5-year-old Robert "Bubby" Contreras through a Facebook group for runners.
"The premise is we run for people who can't. So you sign up and you get a buddy and that's how we were matched," she said.
Bubby lives in a suburb outside of Houston. He has cerebral palsy, and a number of other serious medical conditions such as intractable epilepsy. This means he has seizures that can't be controlled, even with medicine. Summer met Bubby in person for the first time in 2015, when she ran a 5K for him.
"I got to push him over the finish line there so that was really special for us and I've done it every year since, so that's usually the one time I get to see him and his family and hang out with them.," she said.
Due to the burden of medical bills and care, money is tight. The family only has one car which his mom uses to get to work, while his dad stays home with Bubby to take care of him.
"When he's there by himself with his dad if something were to happen they'd have to call an ambulance and wait instead of putting him in the car and rushing off to the hospital," Allmon explains.
Bubby's been denied many times for medical needs, even something as simple as a wheelchair. Right now, Bubby relies on a stroller.
"His story is a very typical story for parents of families with special needs children, and that's unfortunate," said Allmon.
She said Bubby's needs aren't greater than other kids with special needs, but he's special to her. She hopes that by sharing Bubby's story they can help other families too.
"It makes people aware of the struggles these kids and their families go through not just during Christmas. It is every day of the year that they fight for these services, that they fight for these benefits," she explained.
Summer started a GoFundMe for Bubby only 5 days ago. The goal is to raise enough money so that the family can buy a van, and also to establish a trust for Bubby. Just in that time they've raised almost $300,000.
Summer said she is overwhelmed by the support from people everywhere, and it truly is the season of giving. She said even though he's nonverbal, and might not truly understand, Bubby appreciates it too.
"Bubby is sitting back and watching it and being inspired by all of it too. He may not grasp the concept but he'll definitely feel all the benefits, and I know he feels the love," she said.
If you would like to donate to Bubby's Trust you can go here. The money goes directly to Bubby. If you would feel more comfortable sending checks you can send it to First Partner's Bank c/o Bubby's Special Needs Trust at 513 Madison Street, Huntsville, AL.