“Dear God, please get people some money so we can build a field and have a real baseball team with REAL uniforms. Thank you. Amen.”
This was what our friend, Spencer, prayed recently and his prayers are being answered…
He and and his whole family are great friends and we’re so thankful they’re a part of our lives. Our daughter, Kierstyn, got to know Spencer in second grade, and the two of them have been close ever since. His Mom, Mary Jo, often thanks us for her friendship, as if it’s some sort of a sacrifice on our part. For mysterious reasons we don’t understand, while most everyone is kind, not many other kids have befriended him. But it’s far from a sacrifice for us! Spencer is a blast to have around and has an amazing sense of humor. Kiersty loves him and they have a sweet friendship and tons of fun together. She asks to have him over all of the time, which we love to do, or she goes over there, or we all go bowling, and we also get to visit them in the hospital on Spencer’s frequent visits. (He’s had a severe seizure disorder since he was three years old.)
By the way, they have five kids and in a rotten turn of events, as if this family hasn’t been through enough, their son, Kyle, was severely injured in Afghanistan in late December while serving our country. Thankfully he is a strong and determined man, but it will be a long, tough road for him. Their oldest son, Brett, has taken a leave of absence from his Washington, D.C. career to take care of his brother. Talk about sacrifice. But of course he knows Kyle would do the same for him and he’s the type of person who is honored to care for his brother. This family is absolutely amazing, and in many more ways than I can share here. Please pray for them!
Here’s a precious picture of Kyle & Spencer when Kyle was on leave earlier last year:
So when we found out that Spencer got to help at the groundbreaking for this historic event, we were thrilled to come watch him and be there for the beginning of what will bless countless lives in future years.
The man behind all of this, Tony Comden, has a huge heart.
He started the West Michigan Miracle League in the summer of 2011 to bring Miracle League baseball to the disabled kids of West Michigan. His passion for Miracle League baseball is driven by his son Jed, who uses a walker to help him walk. Tony has experienced first hand the joys that come from Jed playing tee ball in a conventional tee ball league, and he wants to provide that same opportunity and joy for other disabled kids and their families in West Michigan.
In his comments at the event, I loved what he shared about the vision for these fields:
“It’s not a place just for special needs kids, it’s a place for all, because these kids are excluded enough in life. This is about inclusion. They just want to play ball with everyone else… Each kid will play with a buddy. Those unable to see will have a buddy to help them hit. Kids in a wheelchair will have a buddy to push them to base or help them field the ball.”
It was a very emotional event, especially when the Dad of Nate Hurwitz, the young man who the fields are named after, thanked everyone for the thousands that were raised in his son’s name after his death at only sixteen years old last year.
We are all excited that we live so close, and we plan to come often to cheer these kids on, especially Spencer!
Here are a few of the shots I was able to capture:
- You have to watch this beautiful story of Tony and his son, Jed! (It wouldn’t let me embed it here.) You can also donate at that link to help them reach their goal.