Jack’s Confidence

The four of us (Robin, Jack, Russell, Sarah) at a Special Olympics meet
The four of us (Robin, Jack, Russell, Sarah) at a Special Olympics meet

Both Jack and my older brother Russell were born with Alport Syndrome. However, in our family, we were all equal. We all got grounded, and they annoyed me, as brothers do. One thing we all shared was our passion for swimming with the Special Olympics. Wednesday nights were about the three of us going to swim practice. Jack loved swimming. It gave him confidence, and it made him believe he could do anything he put his mind to. That confidence and sense of belonging he had gained from Special Olympics propelled him forward. He spent the last few months of his life in and out of intensive care due to kidney failure. Jack constantly had a fire burning in him that was instilled in him during his years of swimming. He wanted to be Michael Phelps when he grew up, and nobody could tell him no. Jack died on April 6th, 2014, at age 20. When I think back on his life, Special Olympics comes to my mind. So many of his best qualities came to life when he was swimming. His potential was limitless.