Tag Archives: cerebral palsy

Pope Francis: Showing How to Love


Did you see this picture? Following his first Easter Mass Pope Francis greeted worshipers and was handed up this young special needs boy to receive a kiss and hug.  I thought it might be the top story for news outlets but it was hard to find any mention.

Why? The heartwarming photo, but even more so the video clip below shows that this disabled boy clearly knows and loves the warm embrace by the pope.

I suppose in this day where 80 to 90 percent of “disabled” fetuses are aborted the public does not want to see or hear this story. After all, women and families are told that their disabled child will not have a normal life and will not be able to participate fully in today’s society. “Get rid of it,” they are told, as though their unborn and maybe imperfect child has no value. But perhaps the disabled, the weakest among us, can serve in testament that every human person has value.

All have a purpose. Sometimes it is not obvious. Sometimes it is to teach others. Like the young boy in this clip.

Maybe his role in society is to teach others how to love and the new pope helps him. In the video below, fast forward to 10:30 and watch. Don’t you agree?

In full disclosure, I am not Catholic. I am however, mother to a young adult son who is nonverbal and has special needs. Every day he teaches me life lessons.

A Father’s Love

This story is filed under ‘Traditional Values’ but a better category would simply be ‘Love’.

At first glance, Rick Van Beek appears a typical father to his thirteen year old daughter Madison. But Maddy is a little different. She has Cerebral Palsy and can’t walk or talk. Every father wants his child to be healthy, in the clip below, Van Beek shares how accepting his daughter’s imperfections also helped his own personal growth.   

Madison loves to be outside. A few years ago an out of shape Van Beek saw his daughter participating in a race and was inspired to be the one taking her hand, pushing her stroller and carrying her when needed. He gave up smoking and began to get himself in better physical condition, eventually forming Team Maddy. Together they have now run over 70 races including half marathons.

The following story aired just before their last race in May. As you watch it listen to this dad getting choked up when talking about not himself, but how his daughter inspires others. It’s a good reminder how our children, though not born perfect, often have a profound influence on those around us, including strangers. Sometimes all it takes is a father’s love.

Team Maddy Fox 17 (Please click on this link, the direct upload was not available. You’ll be glad you watched it.)