He said he knew right away that something was not right with his newborn baby. The ability to move. To communicate. The lack of facial expressions. All of it. He knew right away that something was not right. The diagnosis: cerebral palsy.  And yet Dick Hoyt and his wife raised their son Rick to be like any other child.  

In the early days of the 1960s the lack of tools to help someone communicate and ambulate were decades away. They would never hear a word come from their son’s mouth. They would have to move for him. The recommendation to them was to put their young son into an institution. Dick Hoyt would have none of that. They could tell by the spark in their young son’s eyes that yes, there was someone in there, that their child could hear them, and was wanting to communicate. They finally found the tool to help their son Rick to express what he was thinking.  

Years later the son Rick hears of a charity run for a paralyzed athlete and asks the Dad if they can run it, which meant Dad would be pushing Rick for the whole way of the 5K race. Dick jumped at the idea. And the two were never the same after. That night after the race Rick wrote on his computer that when they run, he feels like his disability disappears.  

They ran again. Many more time. They participated in more than 1,000 races, including duathlons and triathlons, 32 Boston Marathons, completing the Ironman, and in 1992 even completed a run and bike across the U.S., covering 3,735 miles (6,010 kilometers) in 45 days, according to the website. 

“When we run, I feel like my disability disappears”. What would YOU have done? How could you have NOT done what Dick Hoyt did and give your child a chance to be free. If only for a short time. If only while in a chair that you are pushing. It’s because Dick Hoyt was thinking of Rick, before himself.  

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