Local 7-year-old non-verbal boy receives car parade and rides up the drag strip

MEDFORD, Ore. — A non-verbal local 7 year-old boy had the time of his life tonight, at a parade thrown is his honor.

“Everybody that knows him, and knows everything he’s got going on… just looking at him, he just looks like a normal kid and you can’t tell he’s got anything going on but for him, everyday it’s a struggle,” said the boy’s dad, Tim Hiner.

His son, Jacob Hiner, has been dealing with his diagnoses since he was 6 months old.

“He’s epileptic, but he’s also got a chromosomal deletion, and he’s got O.D.D., he’s speech delayed.. developmentally delayed… so he’s just got a lot of things going on,” said Hiner.

Normally, Jacob would be participating in Rascal Rodeo, a rodeo for kids and adults with special needs.

Because of coronavirus, the rodeos have all been cancelled.

The planner of the car parade thrown in Jacob’s honor, DJ Longbrake, says the founder of the organization came up with a back-up plan for disappointed rascals by setting up an ‘Adopt a cowboy or cowgirl’ Facebook page.

From there, Longbrake found Jacob on the page and ‘adopted’ him.

“It just kinda went viral with car clubs and it got shared all over the place – we have people all the way from Roseburg and Yoncalla area,” said Longbrake.

Aaround 50 cars met at the Dairy Queen on Biddle Road, before driving past Jacob’s home and showing their support.

A few cars even took him for a spin up and down the Medford Drag Strip.

“It’s nice knowing that there’s people out there that’ll come together at a time like this and help the kids out,” said Hiner.

“It’s truly been amazing to see everybody come through,” Longbrake added.

The parade and car rides ended after four hours.

For more information on ‘Adopt a cowboy or cowgirl’, visit Rodeo Rascal’s Facebook page.

NBC5 News reporter Mariah Mills is a Medford native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor's Degree in journalism. She also minored in sociology. In school, she covered Oregon athletics for the student-run television station, Duck TV. When she's not reporting, she’s reading, hiking and rooting for her favorite teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks.
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