November 28, 2011
'Tis the season to be charitable, so here's a great and inspiring story to, uh, kick things off.
As the Tampa Tribune reports, a 24-year-old college student named Tim Smith was in desperate need of a new pair of prosthetic legs. Smith's old ones were being held together by duct tape and oil, fixes that wouldn't allow him to wear them during many activities in a lifestyle that includes sports like rock climbing, softball and ultimate frisbee.
Born without legs, Smith was plenty used to getting around and living life to its fullest without prosthetics. And given the $31,000 price tag for a new pair, his insurance-less self was ready to go on without an upgrade when a fundraiser netted only $10,000.
Enter Chicago White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd(notes) and his wife Leann. Though they had never met Smith before, someone told them of his optimistic and faith-based outlook on life and everything he had achieved despite a disability that Smith prefers to place in between quotes (as in "disability").
Inspired to make a difference, the Floyds cut a check for the remaining $21,000 so Smith could receive a pair of new legs.
"We talked about it, prayed about it, and just felt led to do it," Floyd said. "To know what he's achieved in his life really moved us."
Smith chose to adorn his new set of legs with tigers, which happen to be the school mascot of Trinity College, the school in Florida that he attends. And while the Tigers are also one of the White Sox's biggest rivals in the AL Central, here's guessing that Floyd needn't worry about where Smith's loyalties lie. By using the blessings he's received in his life to improve the lives of others, the 28-year-old right-hander made at least one new fan in the process — and likely many, many more.
Here's a video that includes Smith meeting the Floyds for the first time.