Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Dignity of the Person - The Love of a Father

Many may have already seen the following video, but for me it just never gets old. Currently around 90% of all babies with Down Syndrome are aborted because after all, "what kind of life would they have?" In a world where the dignity of a person is based for the most part on their ability to be "productive" in society, and where fathers have largely disappeared, this video says so much.

Here some information on the two from wikipedia:

Team Hoyt is a father (Dick Hoyt) and son (Rick Hoyt, b. 1962) in Massachusetts who compete together in marathons, triathlons, and other athletic endeavors. Rick was disabled at birth by a loss of oxygen to his brain because his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, and he also suffers from cerebral palsy. Dick carries him in a special seat up front as they bike, pulls him in a special boat as they swim, and pushes him in a special wheelchair as they run.

Thanks to his parents, who ignored the advice of doctors that he would live life in a persistent vegetative state, and Tufts University engineers, who recognized that his sense of humor indicated intelligence, at the age of 12, Rick was able to learn how to use a special computer to communicate, using movements from his head. The first words he typed were, "Go Bruins!", and the family learned he was a sports fan. They entered their first race in 1977, a 5 mile benefit run for an injured lacrosse player who was a schoolmate of Rick's.

Dick is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard. Rick earned a college degree from Boston University in special education, and now works at Boston College. They continue to compete in races, and are also motivational speakers.

As of December 31, 2006, Team Hoyt had participated in a total of 942 events, including 216 Triathlons (6 of which were Ironman competitions), 20 Duathlons, and 65 Marathons, including 25 consecutive Boston Marathons. They also biked and ran across the USA in 1992 — a 3,735 mile journey that took them 45 days.

When asked what one thing Rick wished he could give his father, his reply was "The thing I'd most like is that my dad would sit in the chair and I would push him once."

Kind of makes me think about what kind of father I am. Wow.

1 comment:

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Sets the bar kinda high, huh?

Thanks a bunch for putting me through that again. Now I'm going to have poofy eyes all day tomorrow. On the plus side, my slightly runny nose has now completely clogged up from sobbing.

When I see things like this, I never want to complain about anything, ever, ever, ever, ever.

His face is so beautiful. How could anyone look into the face of any person who has mental/physical challenges and say, "Hmmm, naw, not worth it!".