JACKSON- Blake is an extremely happy 16 year-old boy who loves downloading music from the Internet, writing poetry and drawing. He is musically talented and can play the harmonica and the keyboard by ear. But Blake’s favorite thing of all is football and ex-quarterback, John Elway. He has posters of his hero and even made a ceramic replica of a Denver Broncos football in honor of his sports idol. Unfortunately, Blake will never get to run the length of a football field or catch the winning pass in a game. He suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, which causes muscle degeneration and weakness. He is wheelchair bound and needs assistance with most daily activities.
Despite his health problems, Blake’s mother, Clarissa said that he is a very happy and outgoing child. “I have been blessed,” she said. “He is truly well adjusted with what he has to live with.” She said that his upbeat personality draws people to him and he has many friends. “He doesn’t get down about things,” Clarissa said. “I’ve taught him that complications could develop with his disease, but he knows he needs to stay positive. Hope is the only thing you have to live on.”
So when Madeline Robinson of Kids Wish Network heard about this talented young man, she developed a winning game plan: she wanted to combine Blake’s love for football with his wish for a new laptop computer. She called a few plays and soon Blake not only had a new computer, but he also received a printer, web cam, and several computer games. “The smaller keyboard on the laptop is much easier for him to work because of the weakness in his arms,” Clarissa said. But perhaps the best part of all was when Blake opened up the envelope containing a John Elway photograph personally autographed to him by his hero. “He loved it! It’s already framed and in his room,” his mom said.
Although his condition might prevent him from doing many things, Blake can now use his new computer just like any other kid. He can write more poems, try his hand at graphic artwork, and track football scores and stats online. And whenever he looks at the picture of his beloved quarterback, he can smile knowing that even heroes care.
Kids Wish Network is a nationally recognized non-profit organization whose mission is to grant wishes to children who have life-threatening illnesses. If you know a child between the ages of 3 and 18 who may be in need of their wish granting services, please call (813) 891-9374 or toll free at (888) 918-9004. You can also visit its web site at www.kidswishnetwork.org.