Five-year-old Forester Perrin should be enjoying his carefree days like so many other kids his age.
Unfortunately, life is much harder for the Vancouver boy.
Forester, who is on the autism spectrum, also suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Fragile X syndrome (FXS) and will require one-on-one care for the rest of his life.
The condition, which blocks a certain protein in the brain from developing, has no cure and causes intellectual disability, behavioural and learning issues, and various physical challenges - including the risk of seizures.
A GoFundMe campaign was organized earlier this year by his father, Ben, a UBC law professor and author. The fundraising initiative will go toward a registered disability savings plan (RDSP) which will help Forester once he turns 60.
Family and friends have since responded, contributing over $40,000, and Perrin is touched by the donations.
"We don't feel alone anymore. It's incredible and it has really boosted our morale," he explains.
Even Perrin's longtime friend, who now lives in Calgary, has started a separate fundraiser that will see him compete in two back-to-back Spartan races in Red Deer later this summer, all in support of little Forester. He hopes to raise $10,000.
While Perrin is hopeful for his son's future, he chokes back tears when talking about the stigma still surrounding people with disabilities.
"The standard public level of support that people get for disability, living in a city like Vancouver, it is at a below poverty line. People with disabilities aren't treated very well in society and we already see it."
The professor also says the whole experience has helped him better understand criminal law and encourages the public to become more educated about what he calls "invisible disabilities."