Thursday, October 04, 2012

Michael's Dream Comes True


Michael is a nine-year-old Canadian boy with a lively mind in a
body severely crippled body by an incurable muscular disease. He
can't walk and is confined to a wheelchair, nor can he speak
properly, though his loving family understands him. Yet Michael's
handicap is no barrier when it comes to accomodating his main
passion in life: F1 racing in general and one driver in
particular.

At home in Toronto Michael spends most of his time in a bedroom
that is a shrine to his favourite driver. The wall facing the bed
is dominated by a hand-painted mural of a life-size car driven by
Michael's hero, whose image is also depicted all around the room
in photos, posters, banners and other regalia. His parents and
younger brother decorated the room for him, but his father, a
construction worker, said Michael was the foreman on the job. On
Grand Prix Sundays, long before the race begins on television,
the family dresses Michael in a sweater and cap in the colours of
the driver who means the world to him.

Michael's mother, who works as a secretary, arranges family life
around her son's special needs and also tries to brighten his
life with special occasions. On one occasion, after saving up for
some time, the family was able to afford a journey to the
Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, where the goal was for Michael
to meet his hero. Each day, in the morning and evening, they
stood patiently outside the entrance to the paddock, with Michael
fairly bouncing in his wheelchair, thrilled at the prospect of a
meeting that unfortunately did not take place. Though other
drivers came and went, the one they were waiting for never
appeared and the family went home disappointed.

But his mother, determined to make Michael's dream come true,
persevered. She found out his hero used another entrance to the
paddock in Montreal. She was also told that famous F1 drivers are
besieged with so many requests and their time is so limited that
no matter how worthwhile the cause might be, their ability to
make individual dreams come true is very limited. Nevertheless,
Michael's mother remained convinced that her son was a special
case, and that his hero would recognize this when he saw him. And
so the family returned to Montreal again, and early on the
morning of opening day they were waiting outside the paddock. But
so was a jostling, boisterous crowd of celebrity seekers and
autograph hunters, few of whom paid any attention to the small
family group - the anxious mother and father and two young boys,
one of them sitting twisted and contorted in a wheelchair.

Suddenly, the crowd became noisier and someone shouted that a
famous driver was arriving on the back of a scooter. The driver
jumped off and ran for the paddock turnstiles, followed by his
flustered personal assistant who said he was late for a meeting
with his engineers and had no time to stop. But he did stop, this
famous driver, and he pushed his way through the now silent crowd
of on-lookers and went directly to the family with the little boy
in the wheelchair.

Michael's parents stood speechless and immobilized, unable to
come to grips with the fact that this famous driver had actually
singled them out for his individual attention. The driver quickly
took charge of the situation. He shook hands with both parents,
asked them for a pen to sign his name on their boys' caps and
told them to take photos. Then he got down on one knee and put
his arm around little Michael in the wheelchair. He hugged him
closer and whispered in his ear: "Hi, your Mom and Dad tell me we
have the same name. Mine is Michael Schumacher and I am very
happy to meet you.

(photo by Mary, little Michael's mother)

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this moving story !

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  2. Michael was the only F1 driver to donate a large sum of money for the Tsunami victims some years ago...he donated a whopping $106 million!! This is the real Schumacher.

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  3. *sniffle* I like these stories. They make the drivers seem a lot more real. Less like robots.

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  4. Michael has always been told he is a bad boy in formula 1 by his cheatings i believe this is one big gigantic lie, Michael has a heart of gold, why should he cheat with his great personality, its all put down by the media to make us fans hate him well i have know Michael since 1991 and he has inspired me to write a book for him, in which i did it took from 2002 to 2006 and he has the 1st printed signed copy. he is such a generous man by donating lots of money to UNESCO of France, what other f1 driver does this not many, so rule is never judge a man you don't even know and that's to the nasty media, leave him alone.by the way my book i am donating my profits to Michael's charity too the book is called Man on the Move subtitled Michael Schumacher, My Sporting Hero.

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  5. Michael is a racer. Plain and simple. Every driver does dumb things we disagree with. However the obsessive Brirish media latch on to Schumacher's misdeeds with an extra zeal because he crashed into Damon Hill.

    There is nothing arrogant about Schumacher at all and I consider him to be quite a gentleman and to be honest this story didn't surprise me at all.

    Great writing.

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