First “Hero of the Month” named

By: Ian Hest

Eight-year-old Phillip Witthoff is the first “Hero of the Month.”

It's a joint effort between Mad Dads of Lincoln and St. Elizabeth's to recognize kids who have made it through some tough medical situations. Phillip went through just that, so today, he got a gift that will make him the envy of all his friends.

It's every kids' dream, trading in their old bike, for one that's brand-spankin'' new, and eight-year-old Phillip Witthoff got to do just that thanks to Mad Dads of Lincoln.

“Normally, I'd ride it like every few days. But I'll ride it more now,” said Phillip. “There's nothing better than a child's smile when we knows he's going to get a brand new bicycle. The smile they give? Priceless,” said Donald Coleman with Mad Dads.

How Phillip ended up pedaling this new bike is pretty special. It was donated by a family who lost their son to a medical condition.

“I hope the bike that we donated can too find its way to another family that's going through something,” said Sheila Witthoff, Phillip's mother.

But Phillip has been through a lot as well. He came to St. Elizabeth's with a fever as high as 105, a bright red rash covering his entire body, and suffering from Anemia. After doctors found a viral condition, Phillip spent several days in the hospital before making a full recovery.

“Well I didn't feel very well at all because I could barely move,” Phillip said. “So for him to get a new bike today after going through this hard time, it just proves that there's always blessings,” his mom said.

But now that's all behind him, and now it's time to strap on that helmet, hop on that bike and take it for a spin.

The family that donated the bike asked to remain anonymous. As for Phillip's old bike, it's in fairly good condition but it will be fixed up and donated to another well-deserving kid.