The Miracle League of Michigan creates opportunities for children with disabilities to play baseball.
This week, Ann Marie’s All Star is showing how that small opportunity can change a child’s life.
It's been years and years of hard work and as we step onto the Miracle League Field with Caleb Derouin this all-star shows us exactly what it means to have an athlete’s spirit.
“So basically it prohibits movement and muscle control in some aspects of life,” Caleb said.
He’s talking about Cerebral Palsy and the reason doctors told Caleb’s parents he’d never be able to walk.
“All those limitations go away because of the Miracle League,” Caleb said.
When he took the field for the first time at just five years old and wheelchair bound, something inside Caleb changed.
“I saw kids that stood, I saw kids that ran around the bases and I saw kids that hit the ball very well,” Caleb said. “I was batting on my knees and I was like this isn’t what I want, I want to get better.”
Determined to one day run the bases, Caleb got to work. It wasn’t easy, with many doubters, intensive therapy, practice and an athlete’s heart, step by step – he got closer to his goal.
“You get to 800, you get to 900, you get toward that goal of 1000 you could feel it, you could feel it you could smell it, you could taste it,” Caleb said.
From his knees, to a walker then a cane, one day on the Miracle League Field, Caleb’s dreams came true.
“It’s not only surreal for me, it’s surreal for everyone who has had a part in my life.”
Today at age 16, he’s still at home on the field, a walking example of disability turned ability and inspiration, step by step and now base by base.
“It gives hope, simply because you see all these different goals that I’m setting or ideologies of what I want to do with my life and they’re being met, slowly but surely they’re being met,” Caleb said. “It’s more than just a game.”
Congratulations Caleb! You can find more information and donate to Easterseals Miracle League of Michigan on their website.