Wayne Drash of CNN has an emotional and well-written piece that profiles Coach Kill while weaving in his own family's struggles with epilepsy. We are lucky to have Coach Kill at the helm of our Gopher Football program. Not only is he proving to be a good coach who is turning around our favorite football team, but he is a good man who is doing a lot of good; giving kids all over the state/country hope.
In Atlanta, the Gophers have picked up a new fan. On Saturdays, Billy has started paying attention to that team from the upper Midwest. He recently held up a photo of Kill: "Does he really have seizures, Dad?"
On his 11th birthday, Billy donned a maroon-and-gold Gopher jersey. He said he wanted to be like the coach; he set a goal to go the day without a seizure.
He accomplished that feat - news he happily relayed to grandparents by phone.
A small but significant victory.
I am not a terribly emotional or empathetic person (my wife is one lucky gal) but I'm sitting at the kitchen table with tears in my eyes reading this.
His knees are scabbed from constant falls, his legs bruised. Five times, he's tumbled down stairs. He's scared of the staircase at home and crawls up and down it on all fours. He wears kneepads at all times now and uses elevators wherever possible.
My son is the class clown, quick with a joke and a laugh. He's goofy, funny, outgoing and loveable. He adores firetrucks, police cars and big rigs. He's also the toughest kid I've ever met.
My son is far more than his epilepsy, but it affects his life in ways big and small.
He's had to give up his two favorite activities: swimming and biking. He wants to be able to drive someday. "Make my seizures go away," he said as he tossed a coin into a fountain this summer. He made the same request of Santa last year and while blowing out his most recent set of birthday candles.
On my middle child's birthday I'm reading about the struggles of Drash and the challenges his family faces with his son's seizures. Puts my messy house and list of tasks into perspective.