Friday, February 08, 2008

Wheelchair Flips

ESPN aired an amazing story this morning about a boy named Aaron Fotheringham who was born with spina bifida and is now confined to a wheelchair. The story told of Aaron's amazing attitude, one which has turned him into an amazing athlete and person.

He competes with skateboarders on their courses and has even done a flip in his wheelchair! To see this click here to access the full story and click the video that is located there.

While that is amazing, the part that touched me was how he has used his situation to help others and how he is thankful for his situation. Incredible.

Now 16, with the broad shoulders of a football player and the scraped knuckles from his own sport, Fotheringham straddles railings, flies off ramps, does stationary spins and, of course, lands the backflip.

He also continues to touch others.

On this late January day, he is pushing 4-year-old Zachary Puddy Siggens around a skate park in Las Vegas. They carve around the macadam, up onto a ramp, and then down the other side, their helmets shining below the morning sky. The laughter coming from Zach's voice, the thrill lighting his face, suggest a joy so deep, this seems like it's one of the greatest moments of his life so far.

And it is.

After suffering a stroke at just 18 months old, Zach has made an extraordinary recovery, according to his mother, Linda. Still, he is a little boy in a wheelchair, who wants to run and play and explore. He wants, as Aaron once did, to be included. When Linda saw the video of Aaron on the Internet, she traveled from her home in Seattle so her son could meet the teenager he has come to idolize in the span of just a few days.

They call him 'Wheels,' and he keeps on rolling . . . and flipping.Their connection is immediate and real, as Zach's laughter echoes across the contours of the park, his eyes never leaving Aaron's dashing chair.

Watching it all in front of her, Linda Puddy wipes away her tears.

"I didn't know what to do until I saw Aaron, and then I knew," she says. "It gives Zachary a direction to go."

"He's a hero," she says, watching the teenager pushing her son down a small slope. "Zach thinks that Aaron flies."

I've often heard that God never wastes a hurt. This is a great reminder of that.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

No comments: