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article imageParalyzed son participates in marathons with father

By KJ Mullins     Oct 23, 2009 in Sports
A quadriplegic son asked his father, an older man with heart disease, to run a marathon with him. The father said yes. The son then wanted the pair to do the Ironman. The father again agreed.
After watching the video above, you can glean the details: the paralyzed son was pushed by his father every step, every stroke, every pedal of the way.
Dick and Rick Hoyt make up Team Hoyt. They are an inspiration to those who watch their process in marathons and triathlons across the United States spreading the message "Yes You Can!"
In 1962 Rick was born. At birth Rick was deprived of oxygen. As a result of that trauma Rick is a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy.
Doctors told the Hoyt's that their son would never have a normal life. The doctors didn't know what kind of parents the Hoyt's would become. They fought for their son, enrolling him into school to taking him sledding. They gave their son a normal life.
In 1977 when Rick was 15 he asked his father if he could run in a benefit run for a lacrosse player who had been paralyzed. Team Hoyt ran, coming in last, according to their website.
"Dad, when I'm running, it feels like I'm not handicapped."
That was more than 1,000 races ago.
Since that time Rick has earned his degree in special education from Boston University.
Dick Hoyt had a heart attack during a race a few years ago. The doctor told him that if he wasn't as fit he would have died.
His son's request in the 1970's ended up saving his life.
WAAYTV reports:
"My motto is yes you can. There isn't anything you can't do if you make up your mind to do it and there's no such word as can't in the Hoyt vocabulary," explain Dick Hoyt.
In October Team Hoyt was part of the Mary Cariola Children’s Center 60th anniversary gala in Rochester.
More about Rick hoyt, Dick hoyt, Marathon, Running, Paralyzed
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