This Dad's Love for His Disabled, Wheelchair-Bound Son Will Move You to Tears
Seventy-year-old Dick Hoyt is getting ready to run the Boston Marathon for the 31st time this year, but interestingly enough, he says he was never 'much of a runner.' That is, until his wheelchair-bound son Rick came home 35 years ago with a specific request for his dad.
Rick, who "speaks" by communicating through a computer, had just attended a basketball game at which they'd announced a race being held to raise money for a player who had recently become paralyzed after being in an accident.
"He said, 'Dad, I have to do something for him. I want to let him know that life goes on even though he's paralyzed. I want to run in the race,'" Dick said of his son's pronouncement.
Hoyt says he himself would only run, at that time in his life, about three miles a week - a mile each time. To make matters more challenging, Rick's wheelchair wasn't made for running, and it was hard for he and his wife to push Rick in it, let alone run with it.
"Everybody thought we would go to the corner and turn around and come back," he said. They didn't. They finished, second-to-last. And the next 35 years, as they say, is history.
Dick and his son have run in over 1,000 races with the goal of inspiring other people with disabilities.
Now the pair is about to embark on their 31st Boston Marathon, but this time, a special honor will be waiting for them at the starting line: a statue of Dick and his son.
"When Rick was born they said, 'Forget Rick. Put him away. Put him in an institution. He's going to be nothing but a vegetable for the rest of his life.' And now, he's turning into a bronze statue. And it's a life-size statue, and it's at the starting line."
Watch the powerful interview, below, and get more info on Team Hoyt: