This story has been around for a few years, but I came across it again today and thought it was apt for this sacrificial season in the Church calendar. Rick Hoyt was born with oxygen deprivation to the brain. The doctors told his parents that he was spastic quadriplegic and that they should put him in an institution. However, Rick's parents, Dick and Judy Hoyt would not give up on their son. They saw that he followed them around the room with his eyes and they were sure that he was intelligent and aware of the outside world. They persevered in finding a method for Rick to communicate through computer assistance and,in 1972, a group of engineers from Tufts University were able to put together a keyboard that could be manipulated by movement of Rick's head. His first words were, "Go Bruins" since it was hockey season and Boston was in the Stanley Cup. (you can read the full story of the Hoyts at their website: www.teamhoyt.com)
In 1977, Rick told his father that he wanted to be in a race. Dick, a Lt. Colonel in the Air National Guard agreed that he would push Rick in his wheelchair in a 5 mile race. This was to be the first of 1,000 races that the two would enter together, including the Iron Man triathlon and the Boston Marathon. Rick said that when he raced he felt like he wasn't handicapped. They are still going strong and hoping to run in this year's marathon, as well.
Here's an amazing video of a father's sacrificial love for his son.