Buffalo boy with rare disease honored with home run at Bandits game 

Lincoln Riley, 3, of Buffalo, Iowa,  and his parents Lucas and Sarah Riley, and his three Genesis therapists, Megan Long, Jenna Lynde and Shannon Cousino, get high fives from Quad Cities River Bandits players at the first of the season’s Genesis Home Runs for Life at the Bandits game Friday, June 14, at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport. Genesis and Modern Woodmen have been honoring physical therapy patients at the games since 2016. PHOTO BY TODD WELVAERT

As far as home runs go, it won’t go down in any record books, it didn’t change the outcome of any game and no pennant was won or lost. But it only takes a look at the smile on the boy who crossed the plate to know some scores somehow mean even more. 

Lincoln Riley, 3, rounded the bases between the second and third innings Friday night, June 14, at Davenport’s Modern Woodmen Park. With the help of his parents and therapist friends, the Buffalo, Iowa, boy became the first honoree of Genesis Home Runs for Life, a program hosted by the Quad Cities River Bandits

“I got emotional because all these people were standing and cheering for him even though they don’t know him,” Lucas Riley, Lincoln’s dad, told the QCBJ. “He’s just such an awesome kid and I think he just radiates that energy and everyone can see it.”

Genesis and the Quad Cities River Bandits have partnered since 2016 to recognize the success stories of Genesis physical therapy and rehabilitation patients.

Lincoln Riley, and his parents Lucas and Sarah Riley, and his Genesis therapists, Megan Long, Jenna Lynde and Shannon Cousino, come down the first base line Friday at the Quad Cities River Bandits game. PHOTO BY TODD WELVAERT

Lincoln was born with a rare condition, Baraitser-Winter syndrome. The genetic condition affects the development of many parts of the body, and inhibits development. It is so rare that fewer than 50 cases have been reported in the medical literature. It causes intellectual and physical disabilities. 

He started therapy at Genesis when he was only nine weeks old. And the weekly sessions have paid off, according to his parents and Genesis Physical Therapist Brynn Boderman. Doctors in Iowa City told his parents that Lincoln might never lift his head, but the weekly sessions have him sitting and transitioning to standing and walking. 

Lucas and Sarah Riley are excited about the future of their son, who will turn 4 in July. But they are realistic about what that future might look like.

“We are not expecting a miracle and he will suddenly start walking one day. But we know that we have to come here and put in the time, and it will be years, but that’s what he will need to progress. And eventually, we are hoping he’ll be running around the house one day,” Mr. Riley said.

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