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Thread: Heart Warming Story...
Heart Warming Story...
Thought I would share this with you guys... Merry Christmas. (Taken from Nick Wagoner)
The Best Christmas Ever
Friday, December 23, 2005
It's not often that a 14-year old kid can lift his finger high in the air and point to that one Christmas memory, that one Christmas that he can call the best.
Every year, that opinion changes based on what is new and what is cool. But for Alex Wilson, it's going to be awfully tough to top this year's Christmas in the best ever competition.
Alex has spina bifida, a neural tube defect that happens to mothers in the first month of pregnancy wherein the spinal column doesn't close completely. The effects of the disease vary by person, but often include fluid on the brain, partial paralysis and learning disabilities, among others.
But Alex is no different than anyone else. Yes, he struggles with the problems that go with spina bifida on a daily basis, but it doesn't mean he can't be a kid. At 14, Alex is in to the same things that every other kid his age is. He loves to play video games (Madden Football is high on his Christmas list this year), plays football in the street with his friends and oh yeah, he absolutely loves the St. Louis Rams.
Joining the Madden video game on Alex's wish list is everything possible that involves the Rams. Everything from a Rams door knocker to a Rams light switch, it doesn't matter to Alex, that's what he wants. While there's no doubt Alex has been a good boy and is on Santa's nice list, it might not have mattered much had he been on the naughty list. If he was getting a lump of coal for Christmas, it probably wouldn't have mattered so long as it had some sort of Rams logo on it somewhere.
Alex's love for the Rams spawned like many, watching the Rams on television as an 8-year old and jumping up and down as they won the Super Bowl. He fell in love with the team from his home in Cincinnati, watching as many games as the local stations would carry and cheering for the team with all of his heart.
As Alex has continued to learn and deal with the disease, he looks to the Rams as his heroes. So, his mother Barbara decided this year was the time to do something special for Alex. Barbara and her husband Steve bought tickets for Alex to attend tomorrow's game against the *****.
Sounds great, a nice gift for someone who rarely gets to see his team, the opportunity to see them in person and visit the dome in which the team accomplished its greatest feats. On a whim, Barbara decided to write a letter to the Rams and interim coach Joe Vitt. She told Vitt about Alex's love for the team and his situation as well as the upcoming visit to the Gateway City.
Never thinking what the result of that letter would be, Barbara was surprised to receive a call from Vitt earlier this week inviting Alex to come to Friday's practice and watch. Suddenly, a trip to the game became a little better.
With a reservation at the Drury Inn near the Edward Jones Dome in the books, Barbara and Alex packed up a rental car and headed for St. Louis. The only problem? Alex had to significantly alter his sleep schedule.
While Steve stayed back home at work, Barbara woke Alex up around 5 a.m. to make the five and a half hour trip to St. Louis. Alex spent about half the time sleeping and the other half playing video games. Somewhere before leaving, Alex figured out how to hook up his video game console and play it in the car.
Alex and Barbara arrived in time to watch Friday's practice, giving Alex his first glimpse of his favorite team up close. He was given loads of giftbags including everything from a hat to a gameday magazine. But the whirlwind day didn't end there.
As practice wrapped up and the team met at mid field, Alex sat on the side, hoping to meet some of his favorite players. He lists Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson as his favorite players. But it didn't take much longer for Alex to have the Christmas experience that will forever last in his memory.
To date, the day Alex got his dog was probably his best Christmas. But there was no doubt in his mind that it changed Friday afternoon.
Usually when visitors come to practice there are plenty of them around and they get to meet a player or two before moving on. It's a time thing and the ratio of players to visitors isn't conducive to a meet and greet.
As the players strolled off the field, though, they formed a line, walking directly toward Alex. Dane Looker presented him with a football. Every thing that had the Rams logo on it got signed. Every players stopped to greet Alex. His eyes lit up like the world's largest Christmas tree, but he was able to maintain his cool.
Alex calmly shook hands with every Ram, saying hello and introducing himself. By the time he was done, Alex had more autographed memorabilia than the Hall of Fame and enough memories to last him a lifetime.
Steve Wilson will head to St. Louis tonight after he gets off work and Barbara will return to Cincinnati to take care of the family's dogs.
In addition to the visit and the meeting, Alex will get to be on the field before tomorrow's game.
By the time the visit is over, it's going to be hard to top this Christmas as Alex's favorite. I asked Barbara and Alex if there was any way he could top it. The consensus was that it would be nearly impossible. But, to Alex's parents, don't worry about trying to top this one.
Maybe the Edward Jones Dome won't be packed to the rafters in tomorrow's game. And maybe the Rams don't have much to play for with all playoff hopes gone. But there will be at least one fan in attendance who isn't worried about what will happen in the offseason and doesn't care about who will be starting at quarterback.
As Barbara and Alex sat in the lunch room Friday waiting to have a well-earned bite to eat, all they could think about was how cool it was to meet the Rams.
After getting their chance to meet Alex, they should be talking about how cool it was to meet Alex. I know I will be.
Happy Holidays to all of you.
Re: Heart Warming Story...
That was a Right nice story, Ramfan.
Re: Heart Warming Story...
Things of this sort should be a every day thing for the players to do! glad they made this young man's heart fill with joy. Class on someone's part for putting this together!
Re: Heart Warming Story...
Ramfan - I don't think you know how much reading this meant to me. When I was 19, my first wife and I had a son born with Spina Bifida. His disabilities were more severe than most. Tony wasn't with us for very long, he passed away on Father's Day 1982, only 3-1/2 months old.
When he died, it really messed us both up for a long time. But, we realized just how much that little boy had taught us, and how dependent we had become on the doctors and nurses who specialize in the care of children with SB. Those caregivers, the kids - all are such special people. Since that time, I have supported the Spina Bifida Association when I can to help find a cure.
Then the story goes on to say that the Rams, all of them, went out of their way just to brighten the Christmas of one of these special kids.
I've been fighting back tears ever since I read the story. I looked at the pictures of Tony on my wall, and realized just how much he still means to me. I wish he could have had such a wonderful gift like Alex has recieved, but I know Tony is in the care of the Lord now, and is probably smiling about Alex's special weekend.
Thanks. Bittersweet memories, but one great Christmas gift to me. Not just the memories, but reminding me again that the Rams are not just a football team, but some of the greatest guys in the world.
Merry Christmas, Alex.
Re: Heart Warming Story...
RamsfanSam...........Sorry my friend for your loss. But, i promise you that he is very happy and proud of his Mother & Father!...............Right now after seeing you post this comment he is probably hugging your neck and smiling with all the Angels saying that is my DADDY!..................Hope this won't bother you Ramsfan Sam I didn't mean anything by it just wanting to assure you that he loves you and is a Ram fan too!.............May the Love of your son and all God's other Angels shine on your Family forever!.........