HERO – a person who is idealized for possessing superior qualities in any field.
Everyone has a hero.
Whether it’s just one person, or an entire team, there’s always someone we look up to as kids and idolise. Even as adults, we still admire others. We recognise qualities and abilities that others have, and try to emulate those in ourselves.
But when it comes to heroes, it’s a sad twist of fate having a child with Muscular Dystrophy who is obsessed with rugby. If he was a normal little boy, able to run around like other normal little boys, he’d be kicking a ball in his free time. But he can’t. He can barely walk these days.
We have been lucky, over the past 6 years, to have met some incredibly generous people, people who have donated their time or their money to help out our little man. He has seen and done some amazing things in his short life. But rugby is his passion, and when a good friend organised for James to go and see his favourite rugby team in training, we jumped at the opportunity.
The Queensland Reds train in Brisbane, over an hour’s drive north from us. But that wasn’t going to stop us. On what was one of the most memorable days of his life, James met his heroes.
Now, when you have a child with an illness or special needs, they don’t like to be referred to as “special”. Kids just want to be like other “normal” kids. But being made to actually “feel” special, taking part in something that other kids will most likely never get the chance to see or do, well that’s completely different. Today, James was made to feel special, very special. Each of the players took time out to chat with a little boy who wishes he could be normal, and because of that he felt like the luckiest little boy in the world. He really did. They introduced themselves and shook his hand, and they talked. James was in awe, he couldn’t believe that he was actually meeting and talking to his heroes, men he had only seen from afar whilst sitting in the stadium watching them play, or on television. Here they were, in the flesh, and they were his captive audience. Special mention to James Horwill and Quade Cooper – James idolises them. It was unforgettable, and the smile still lights up his face when he talks about it.
Today was a good day. Today was an amazing day. Today, James was delighted to be “special”. It might have been just an hour or so out of the day of these athletes, but to James it was something he will remember forever. And so will we.
Thank you to the QLD Reds, and to Bren Arkinstall for organising this.
You guys rocked my son’s world.