Friday, August 12, 2011

Who Says There Are No More Heroes?

A few weeks ago, I posted The Feature. It is the story of a courageous little boy who refused to let blindness stop him from pursuing his dream of playing Tee-Ball. It’s time now for an inspring update! If you haven’t read the The Feature, (posted July 11) please take a moment to do so before finishing this post. You’ll be glad you did.
Now… the update.
The pint-sized tee-ball player named Jacob, who stole my heart when he was just seven, is now a teenager. His accomplishments surpass those of many sighted children, teenagers, and yes.. even adults. This remarkable 14 year old young man approaches life every single day as if it was a gift to be enthusiastically unwrapped, passionately enjoyed and gratefully remembered.
A few years ago, Jacob decided he was ready to attend a residential, out-of-town school for children who are deaf and blind. It was a big step.  This would take him away from daily interaction with his wonderfully supportive family. Mom would now be several hours away, instead of just down the hall. But, Jacob is not one to let fear stand in his way.
Jacob is thriving at school and in life. He has not only conquered the baseball field. He also swims, rides horses, and has participated on the wrestling team and in track and field events. Just this week, Jacob learned he has made the basketball team at his school! On top of all that, he has brains to match that brawn. Jacob earned a ‘100’ on his first math test of the new school year. This teenager is hero-material.
Heroes sometimes need help.
If you were to ask Jacob to name his biggest helper, he would no doubt name his mom, Jessica. She has supported him every step of the way giving him a solid foundation to build on. That foundation includes a strong religious faith, a belief in himself and his abilities, and the determination to make the best out of whatever curve balls life throws at him.
This summer, Jacob’s mom drove him to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he was treated following his retinoblastoma diagnosis. It was time for his annual checkup.  The doctors gave him a great report. He remains cancer free.
How in the world does a family give thanks for the gift of life?
If you are Jacob and Jessica… you give back. They are tireless in their efforts to support cancer research, prevention and treatment. This fall, they are participating in the St. Jude Give Thanks Walk. It will be held in 80 communities across the country on November 19.  Jessica is a local chairperson. It’s a big responsibility. But it’s something you would expect from her…and from her remarkable son. Because, although their lives were turned upside down by the loss of sight, they demonstrate to the rest of us the importance of seeing with our hearts… as well as our eyes.
                                           Jacob and Jessica… you are my heroes.
If you would like to help support Team Jacob in the Give Thanks Walk, you can find the Team Jacob page here:
If you would like to show your support by ordering a Team Jacob t-shirt, please email me and I will put you in touch with Jessica. Email:

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