Tuesday, March 30, 2021

A Post By Allen Schneider

Today I wanted to share the link for a post by Allen Schneider.  Allen is an incredible father and an amazing spokesman for special needs dad's everywhere.  His entire family takes the word "inspirational" and redefines it.


The host of this particular post is Frank Campagna, aka AutismDaddy, who is an incredible inspiration in his own right.

I can tell you that one of the most difficult thoughts that special needs parents face is how to manage a disastrous event with your child in the line of fire.  I can't possibly count the number of nightmares I have had where I can't save Tyler from something happening.  Its my mind playing out the fear of being helpless to save myself much less to save him.  Its the pure weight of being totally responsible for another human being manifested into terror.

Allen and his family have found running to be the most special of outlets for their boys and their lives seem much richer because of it.  But this story details their experience on the day of the Boston Marathon terrorist attack.  

The blog is so well written, and so intensely familiar to my emotions, that I could feel myself taking the journey with them, nodding all the way.

Please click or copy-and-paste the link.  Also buy their book "Silent Running" which is just as amazing as today's blog.

Be well and God bless.   Tom

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Tribute to Dick Hoyt

Dick Hoyt was a giant.  The world is a lesser place for having lost him this week. 

If you aren't familiar with Team Hoyt, Dick's son Rick was born with cerebral palsy in 1962.  The family was immediately encouraged to send Rick to an institution as there was no hope for him to be more than "a vegetable".  His parents held out hope because they saw something in his eyes that only parents can see.  With time, perseverance, and love, Rick learned to read, went to school, graduated college, and worked to develop special needs communication devices.

In 1977, Rick learned of a classmate who had become paralyzed, and he wanted to help.  He wanted to show his friend, and the world, that life can go on despite profound disabilities.  He and his father Dick ran their first race.  Rick told his father "Dad, when I'm running, it feels like I'm not handicapped".  That would be the beginning of a remarkable journey.

Dick would train (he was not a runner prior to the 1977 race) and build his endurance.  In all, he and Rick would run 72 marathons, including the Boston Marathon an amazing 32 times.  They competed in 1130 total events over the span of nearly 40 years. 


"Inspirational" is an oft-used word and I'm not sure it scratches the service of what Dick and Rick mean to the special needs community.  I watched a story on them once (I believe it was an ESPN story) and was in awe of the love and dedication between father and son.  They had found their way of leaving "disability" behind and simply tilted their heads into the wind and enjoyed freedom.  

I did not know the Hoyt family, but am part of the same special needs family with them.  Whether we are writing blogs, creating Muppet characters, writing books, or running races, we want to help our children leave a special mark on the world.  We want people to see that we are strong, thoughtful parents that our children are incredible people for what they can accomplish and mean to others.

God bless you Dick Hoyt....may you enjoy a long and peaceful rest.  You've earned that and so much more.