Soccer and Special Moments

October 10, 2010

Last Saturday, Shel, Katy and I headed out to Lindenwood U to watch Jenni and Whitney and the rest of the Lions play in a women’s soccer game. For those of you who haven’t watched the last couple of films I’ve posted, Jenni and Whitney worked with Katy during her first two weeks playing in the SPecial NEeds Soccer Association (SPENSA). They had shown up for the second week of practice even though their team wasn’t even expected to be there. And Katy just had a blast with them.

So, off to the game we went. It was such a great experience for us. We got there just as the game was starting and made our way up in the stands behind the Lindenwood bench. We didn’t get a chance to talk to Whitney or Jenni before the game since they were both on the field already, but a few young ladies recognized Katy from the first SPENSA session. At half time both Whitney and Jenni were waving at Katy from the sidelines. The highlight of the day, though, happened just before the second half started. Imagine how touched I felt when I hear over the public address system at the game: “Lindenwood University would like to welcome KATY to today’s game!” They have no idea how special that was for me. (Katy wasn’t as happy with it as I was. She wasn’t a big fan of anything coming out of the PA system at all, actually.) That wasn’t anything they had to do. Then again, when Katy’s involved, a lot of people in our lives have done a lot of things they didn’t have to do. She’s a special little girl. When the game ended and we got to go down and talk to Whitney and Jenni, Katy kept saying “Whoo!” like she did with them during the last practice. She knew exactly who they were and was so excited to see them. It was just a great experience all the way around.

This Saturday, we knew Whitney and Jenni had a game that night, so we didn’t think we would see them at SPENSA. So, Katy had to train three young ladies from the Saint Louis University women’s soccer program. Kaitlyn, Jade and Alex did a great job with her the whole time. The funniest thing for me though, is it was a complete repeat of our first day. I barely even got to the registration table when Katy already has three people around her ready to work with her. (It helps to be cute, I guess!) As Whitney and Jenni can attest to, SPENSA practice with Katy is no fun little stay in one place and kick a ball around. No, soccer practice with Katy is a conditioning affair with repeated sprints up and down the field. But they did it. Kaitlyn, Jade and Alex learned a couple new words in sign language – with “again” being the most prominent in the affair. Watch the video below to see what I mean.

SPENSA has been great for us, especially as the stress starts to build for next week. What’s next week, you ask? Next week is our long awaited (over a year) trip to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Five straight days of doctor appointments with one goal: try to get a better understanding of how Katy’s chromosome deletion is affecting her and if there’s anything we can do about it. We sent up the blood test two months ago for them to do another genetic map on her to see if they could pinpoint her deletion more accurately than before. Now, we just have to wait an agonizing week to get up there and see what can be done.

So, before I leave you with this week’s video, I just want to say I am so thankful that we have never let Katy’s condition slow us down. Whether it’s a little boy – Luke – at Sean’s soccer games who hunted down a sucker for Katy when he didn’t have any candy she could eat his first time around, or it’s PA announcement at a college soccer game; we’ve found ourselves in the company of some of the most wonderful people we could have ever hoped to have met. All because of Katy.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lu October 11, 2010 at 10:16 am

Our family from Chicago just left after spending the weekend so I was a little glum. I came in to check my mail and was delighted to find the posting re the wheelchair soccer. Left me with smiles, smiles, smiles.

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Todd October 11, 2010 at 10:55 am

Glad to hear it, Lu! If there’s anything you would like to know more about or would like to see more of, please let me know. Thanks for staying in touch with us!

todd

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