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.

8 thoughts

  1. I had a first cousin with this crippling disease. I got very close to Scotty -my cousin- in my adolescence and remained so until he passed away. He was an incredibly sharp, witty and humorous individual despite his illness. He never missed a beat. His was a life many would envy if only they had eyes to see beyond the evident effects of CP. Even so, he never faltered. Initially hard to understand, I still smile remembering his stamina in simply communicating with others at times. He would repeat a sentence as many times as it took for you to understand him. And in communication with him, it did not take long to realize that you indeed did want to hear what he had to say. I miss him dearly. It was my great privilege to experience the time we shared together. I also always admired the relationship he and his father shared. His fathers unwavering love, support, guidance and encouragement I see perfectly reflected in young Max’s father. A special person has been entrusted to you, Mr. Scott. A person who will enrich your life with a level of love few are able or chosen to experience in this realm. God bless you, Max and the rest of your family. I offer my prayer and support in the hope of change in yours and others similarly affected by this and other diseases.

    1. You said it better than I could about Max’s father.

      Thank you. And thank you for sharing the story of your cousin Scotty.

      As a point of clarification, it is worth noting that CP is not a degenerative illness or a disease. It affects people in different ways. Many people with CP do, unfortunately, die at a young age, but it’s not because of CP; it’s because of another condition. People, understandably, sometimes conflate CP with other disabilities like MD or with diseases. No doubt, Max (and I) will both be old men one day.

      Again, thank you for your comment; I just needed to clarify the distinctions.

      1. It is good to clarify about living a “normal” life span. Many people had me dead and buried on the day they learned of my diagnosis of MS.

Leave a Reply to Lamar White, Jr Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s