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You Can!

This is one of the most amazing and inspiring stories I’ve heard in a long time. It’s a story of two heroes, a father and a son. The son, Rick, is 46 years old. Shortly after his birth, the doctors discovered he had Cerebral Palsy. Their immediate advice to the parents was to have Rick put away in an institution, because he would live a life only as a “vegetable”. But the parents said no, wishing nothing less than to raise their son like a normal child.

As you’ll learn when watching the video, Rick asked his father a number of years ago to help him run a five mile race aimed at raising money for a local athlete that just got paralyzed in an accident. Rick told his father that he wanted to do something for the other young man, to let him know life goes one; that you can live a worthy life even as a paralyzed.

Dick, the father, then willingly assisted his son by running behind his wheel chair, pushing him all the way. This became the start of one of the greatest love stories between parent and child. Dick felt he wanted to be there for his son, giving him a better life, because Rick had told him that when he was running it felt like his disabilities disappeared.

In April 2009 they will have completed their 1000th race, which will be their 27th Boston Marathon.

Besides “running” with his father, Rick is a graduate from High School, and from Boston University. He spends a lot of time lecturing (with a special voice computer). He has now traveled the world with his father, and wherever they go they are greeted as heroes.

Their family motto is: You can! Anything is possible. You can do anything you set your mind to. Not even a handicap will stand in your way. And if it’s too hard to do it alone, then do it with someone you love, then your joy will be doubled.

Just a warning before watching this. Bring lots of tissue paper. You will cry floods! As a father myself, I was especially touched by Dick’s unconditional love for his son. This feeling is also shared in the first video, a music video of their 7th Ironman, that compares this beautiful love between a father and a son with that of God’s love for all of his children.

The second video is the official story of Rick and Dick Hoyt, ending also with another touching music video.

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