I realize I am a little late; the Mile4Max event already occurred here in Dallas (Max and his family are all from Dallas). But nonetheless, I am compelled to share this boy’s story, because this is almost exactly how I walked and talked and ambled around at that age. Like Max, I was also born with cerebral palsy. And two days ago, Max had the same major spinal surgery that I had when I was his age, from the same doctor.
It’d be great if people contributed to provide for his care; if you can, please give. It’s a shame that any family in this country should ever be financially burdened because their child was born with a disability. Max, after all, is an inspiration.
And I don’t mean to politicize any of this, but when we allow insurance companies to deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, as they did to me, then we are forcing working-class families to either deny necessary treatment or rely, almost entirely, on soliciting the beneficence of their neighbors.
I commend his family for putting their story out there.
When I was a kid, I rooted for a few different athletes: Frank Thomas, Kirby Puckett, Ken Griffey, Jr., Troy Aikman, and, of course, the entire roster of the New Orleans Saints (I’m admitting to a lot here). I will always root for the Saints; don’t get me wrong. I even own a Saints jersey, which I wore every Sunday last season and will continue to wear during every single Saints game until it finally just comes apart at the seams. #37.
As a kid, I looked up to these larger-than-life athletes as my heroes. But as an adult, my heroes are kids like Max. Throwing, catching, and hitting a ball are way easier than what he has to do every day.