If there was ever a question about the integrity or spirit of truck drivers, this recent story sets the record straight.
On August 18th, more than 180 trucks and around 1,200 people attended a surprise birthday party for Dakota “Bubba” Cadd. Bubba is a trucking enthusiast who suffers from Dandy-Walker Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and seizures. This affects his brain development and movement, requiring him to be in a wheelchair.
“It was a pretty amazing event,” said Peggy Cadd, mother of 16-year-old. “Everything about it was awesome.
How it all started
Bubba can often be found sitting right outside his home, along Highway 26 in Milton, Wisconsin. He likes watching trucks drive by and trying to get them to blow their thunderous horns. His mother says he’s been fascinated by trucks ever since she can remember.
Because of his dedication and love for watching trucks, he has become well-known to those who regularly pass by.
Mark King, a truck driver for CH Hall Trucking in Stillman Valley, Illinois, doesn’t have a horn to honk, so after seeing Bubba nearly every time he passed by, he decided to brighten his day in a different way.
In July, King decided to leave a CH Hall Trucking shirt and toy semi-truck on the lawn for Bubba. Peggy shared the story of King’s generosity on social media, which then inspired local retired driver, Jeremy Wallenkamp, to throw a party for Bubba.
18 Wheel for Bubba
Wallenkamp created a Facebook page, called “18 Wheels for Bubba,” and asked local trucking companies to donate shirts and hats for Bubba’s party. To his shock, the event went viral and garnered support from truckers as far as Australia and New Zealand.
On the big day, Bubba arrived at a local park, still unaware of the massive party awaiting him.
“When we pulled in, he looked at me and said ‘me’ as in ‘is this all for me,'” Peggy said. “We said, ‘yeah, this is your birthday party, and the truckers came for you.'”
At the event, Bubba rode in trucks and even became an honorary member of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. He was also given a CB radio, so now he can talk to the truckers that pass by.
“I just want to show him the support from our industry that he deserves,” said Wallenkamp. “He loves trucks. There’s a lot of great people in the trucking industry, and we just want to be there and support him and stand next to him.”
So, next time you find yourself on Highway 26 in southern Wisconsin, keep an eye out for Bubba. And don’t forget to give him a honk.