Andrew skiing at Camelback Mountain in New York last winter
A wheelchair is something you very rarely see Andrew break out unless he has a long journey, like an airport or some other distance he has to travel.Andrew is also a member of his school band at Fermi High School in Enfield. His younger brother Ryan, who sometimes doesn't get the attention for being the great kid he is with Andrew in the media limelight, once pushed his brother in his wheelchair the entire distance of a Parade route in Enfield so Andrew could play with the band.
If the tears aren;t coming to your eyes yet, hold on.So often the great things people do aren't mentioned, and sometimes a small effort by someone can have a huge impact.
All I know is that his name is Kenny and he is a security guard at Fenway Park at the main gate at Yawkey Way by the souvenir shop.I left Hartford early Sunday to pick up my nephews and make sure we got to Fenway early enough so I could get a handicap parking space close to the park. The Boston Police were great and directed us to Overland Street, which I guess they shut down during the games, specifically to accommodate handicap parking needs.
Since we had left Hartford early, by the time we got there and Andrew walked to the Ticket gate, we saw the sign that the gates opened 90 minutes before game time. That left Andrew at least an hour to stand before we could get to our seats.
That is where Kenny the security guard came in. I approached him and explained that I had a person with me with a disability and was there a place he could sit while we waited for the gates to open. I think Andrew doesn't see it as a disability but that's another story. Anyway, Kenny asked if he could walk down stairs. I told him it wasn't pretty, but yes he could do it.
He then pulled a couple of Red Sox wrist bands out of his pocket, put one on me, one on Andrew and the 3rd on Ryan and he told us to follow him he was taking us out on the field for the teams warming up before the game. Andrew's face lit up with a smile like a kid on Christmas morning and I think Ryan was pretty impressed also as we were walked onto the Field.
It was a deed that put some joy on Andrew's face and hopefully helps him forget some of the pain he has experienced throughout his young life with treatments and surgeries to break bones and then pin them back together to help him walk. I'm not sure if Kenny the security guard will appreciate what he did for Andrew and how it made him feel special, but I am pretty sure Andrew and Ryan will both be telling the story of their special day with the Red Sox for a while, I know I will.
A fundraiser will be held next Sunday to support Andrew's efforts to make it to the paralympics, more on that below.