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Unfortunately, medical professionals often do not give children with cerebral palsy the most promising prognoses concerning their future abilities. In light of this reality, it simply never gets old sharing stories about young people who have overcome their doctor’s prognosis to achieve truly remarkable feats.
In today’s post, we’ll take a closer look at the accomplishments of a high school student from Missouri who has refused to let cerebral palsy — a serious condition that can cause a host of medical problems ranging from vision and speech problems to muscle spasms and mobility issues — get in the way of his dreams of being a sportscaster.
The student, whom we’ll call Andrew, was recently invited to a local news station in the St. Louis area to help the sports anchor with his segment during the 6 p.m. broadcast, one of the most important of the day.
In preparation for his premiere and to learn more about how the television business works, Andrew arrived at the studio prior to his scheduled broadcast, observing both how the sports segment was assembled by producers and how the sports anchor went about preparing his scripts.
When it came time for the big show, however, Andrew proved himself to be every bit the pro, helping recap a St. Louis University basketball game, a St. Louis Blues game that went into a shootout and a St. Louis Cardinals spring training scrimmage.
“Wow, it was so much fun today,” he tweeted after the segment. “Thanks to [the sports anchor and news station] for an awesome time. Plus, I think I killed it.”
This may be just the start of Andrew’s broadcasting career, however. Students at his high school, where he acts as the manager of the basketball, baseball and golf teams, have launched a social media campaign designed to help Andrew realize his dream of appearing on SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship program.
“We as a school and as a community want to make this dream come true,” said one of Andrew’s friends. “We won’t be able to do it alone either. We are reaching out for help everywhere to make his dream happen because of how he has changed our lives.”
To date, #AndrewOnSportsCenter has already been shared thousands of times on Twitter, something which friends and family hope will gain the attention of officials at the television sports network.
While countless kids have gone on to realize their dreams despite a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, this in no way excuses any negligence on the part of medical professionals. Indeed, those parents who feel that the onset of cerebral palsy was due to the failure of an OB/GYN to monitor the health of their baby during the delivery process or a pediatrician’s failure to diagnose a health issue during their child’s early development should always remember that they have rights.
Source: WTSP, “Teen with cerebral palsy gets to be sportscaster for the day,” March 11, 2014; KSDK, “Fort Zumwalt South students trying to get classmate on ESPN