Local boy who inspired with show steer gets big surprise - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local boy who inspired with show steer gets big surprise

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Alec and his steer JD showing at the National Junior Angus Show in Des Moines last summer. Alec and his steer JD showing at the National Junior Angus Show in Des Moines last summer.
DYERSVILLE (KWWL) -

At 12-years-old, one Dyersville boy has inspired thousands across the country.

Last summer, a photographer caught a powerful moment between Alec Gotto and his show steer JD, during the National Junior Angus Show in Des Moines.

Within days, the photo went viral on Facebook. 

Alec has been paralyzed from the neck down since he was 8-months-old, but there is nothing he loves more than showing cattle.

It's in his genes, a family tradition and one he can now do a little easier with a new wheelchair that has tracks instead of wheels. The tracks combined with more power allow Alec to tackle the rough terrain of the farm and show ring.

"We have always involved Alec in everything we have done on the farm, it has just always been a little bit from a distance. Now he will be able to be side-by-side with us. He will be more independent. I am probably looking forward to it more than he is," said Alec's dad, Chad Gotto.

Before the wheels of Alec's chair would easily get stuck.

But now thanks to a partnership with VGM, Total Respiratory and Rehab, and thousands of donations to the Tracks for Alec campaign, Alec can conquer any road ahead and even show off with a donut or two.

"The trackchair lets him explore new worlds, he will be able to get in and out of the rings better, and he will be able to go help his dad feed; things he might not have been able to do before. It is really neat. That smile when he was coming up the hill that was it," said Greg Packer, U.S. Rehab with VGM.

The trackchair wouldn't be complete without John Deere decals, an Alec favorite and a reminder last year's steer JD, short for John Deere.

"My other chair. . ." said Alec.

"You wouldn't have made it would you?" finishes Chad.

The trackchair will be a new freedom for the entire family.

"What are you most looking forward to?" asked KWWL.

"Just having him with me, next to me on the farm," said Chad.

Alec says he is most excited to test the chair out in the show ring this summer. He plans to show his steer and a couple of breeding heifers at the National Junior Angus show and the Dubuque County Fair.

The Gotto family is also sending out a huge thank you to everyone who made the chair possible. Alec's trackchair costs nearly $35,000.

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