This fundraising effort will be a way for me to honor Justin's ten years as a baseball player in the Miracle League and his high school graduation. He has been playing baseball in the Miracle League for ten years. When he started playing baseball, the league played on a dusty, beat-up old baseball field. But due to the generosity of many, there is now a fully handicapped accessible baseball field in Acton that hosts the Miracle League players in a fall and spring season. The League does not charge families anything for their participation and this fundraising will help continue to provide all the athletes with uniforms, equipment and end of the season trophies. Both of my boys played baseball when they were growing up and as a parent and an educator, I am proud of what the Miracle League has accomplished so that children of all abilities have the chance to play America's Favorite Pastime.
Justin & I will be returning to the Miracle League of MA 5K Run/Walk, being held on June 10th. Justin was a student in my 4th grade class in 2009-10. In 4th grade, they participate in a mile run during gym class. Justin also wanted to do the mile run and I quickly said I would train him. Throughout the school year, we trained at lunch, and on some half day Tuesdays. Most 4th graders would not dedicate this amount of time towards this goal, but Justin was no ordinary 4th grader. Justin was born with Congenital Muscular Dystrophy, so his mile would be done in his wheelchair, powered by himself. He participated in the inaugural Adrian Martinez Race, finishing three-quarters of the mile before rain and hand blisters resulted in his not being able to finish and did complete the entire mile in the fall of 5th grade. Justin is the true definition of determination.
What I love the most about Justin is that he never sees his disability as a liability; instead he just powers forward and sees the possibilities. He just starred as Arvide in Guys and Dolls, was recently named the National Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and was a fashion model at MIT! Justin will be attending WPI and study Biomedical Engineering in the fall. I can think of no better way to honor this great human being and support such a worthy cause at the same time. I hope you will consider supporting this great cause so that other children will have the same ten year career that Justin has done!