Derrick Coleman

As my family and I settled into the local diner one morning, my husband asked if I’d checked my Facebook page. I’d gone for a long run that morning and rushed to get Landon dressed and out the door. I hadn’t even checked my phone since my 7am alarm went off.

“Scott posted something on your wall. You need to see it,” Bo said quietly to me.

Now… no offense to our dear friend Scott, who I truly love, but my first thought was… “Oh God, what now…” Thinking it was some embarrassing photo, hilarious article or something teasing Bo.  Bo insisted I watch it on my phone immediately and handed me his headphones.  “Take a deep breath first.”  Hmmm…

I clicked on the link and life halted for one long minute. I sat in a trance in a very crowded restaurant as tears streamed down my face. My breath caught in my throat and I smeared mascara on my cheek.  My family paused, asking what Bo did to me, and then understood…. must be a Landon thing. Quiet tears from me are not uncommon if it’s something to do with bug.

I have now watched Derrick Coleman’s Duracell commercial about 45 times.  I cry each time. I stop breathing each time.

I want to hug him each time and call him and write to him and tell him… THANK YOU. Thank you for changing the landscape. For fighting against the stigmas. For showing our children that they can do anything they want with their hearing aids. For calling out the bullies and showing us that our kids will overcome teasing too. They can not only play sports but become elite athletes if they want to. They too can achieve the greatest honor in sports.. the Superbowl. Okay well the boys can… but the girls too have a hero in you. And a special thanks to Duracell for honoring his story and in turn honoring our own childrens’ stories.

As athletes ourselves, Bo and I dreamed of our future childrens’ sports accolades. Our same friend Scott used to joke that our child would likely be in Sports Illustrated… male or female.. swimsuits or sports. Maybe both he laughed. When I was pregnant, our friend Harrison asked if he could take stock out on the baby’s sports career.  I would dream of lacrosse. Bo would dream of baseball.  When Landon was born and our vision and story changed, the sports dream didn’t fade but it felt more complicated. Can she wear her bahas when she plays? How does that work with lacrosse goggles? With sweat or getting hit? How does it work with a bike helmet?  If she is a swimmer, will she be the last off the block or will they install a light?  As you know… when there’s a topic I worry about for Landon.. I obsess. 

Now… with the emergence of Derrick Coleman.. we have our first true hero. I usually turn to my iPad or a book when sports is on. As a former athlete, this sounds maybe odd… but sports on tv just isn’t my thing. Since this commercial, I’ve watched every Seakhawks game. Tuned into Mike & Mike in the morning to hear a recap and read stories on ESPN. Quite simply.. Mr. Coleman… I’m one of your biggest fans.

Thank you for inspiring me to inspire my daughter. For showing me that she, like you, can do anything… hearing aids and all.

We’ll be cheering for you loudly from SC in this Superbowl and throughout the rest of your career.  You are amazing.

See the commercial here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2HD57z4F8E

Sending you so much love,

Eloise

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