Friday, June 5, 2009

Dad Who Goes the Distance

There's a lot that 7-year-old Mary McAuley, of Hendersonville, Tennessee, can't do. Born with cerebral palsy and suffering from epilepsy, she's confined to a wheelchair, can't speak, and needs a feeding tube to eat. But her dad, Tommy McAuley, has helped her achieve awesome physical feats.

They are a father-daughter triathlon team. McAuley pushes Mary in a special stroller for most of his runs, pulls her along in a trailer when he bikes, and tugs his child in an inflatable raft as he's swimming. T.E.A.M. McAuley (older brothers, Grant, 11, and Griffin, 9, are members too) raises money and awareness for other families with special needs to get equipment to participate in triathlons. The biggest reason for racing is Mary. "She loves the feeling of not being disabled, spending time with her family, and the wind blowing through her hair," says McAuley. How can he know this about a child who can't speak? "If you saw her contagious smile, you'd have no doubt," explains this proud dad.

1 comment:

Corrine said... that is true devotion of a parent!