- Date Added:
- October 23rd, 2012
- Batter Up For an ALS Cure (batterupforals.org)
He has outlived ALS for 16 years, which is 8 times the average, on inspiration and willpower.
In Wade's Words: "It all began the summer before my senior year of high school in 1993; although I had no idea the symptoms were going to lead to my diagnosis four years later. I was getting horrible cramps in my legs and feet. After UST, I transferred to St. Edward's University in Austin to have a chance to fulfill my dream of playing college baseball. My first semester in Austin was the spring of 1996 and my symptoms started to accelerate almost immediately. On Valentine's Day, just six weeks before my 21st birthday, I flew home to see a specialist and was given the bad news. Talk about being in shock. People my age are not supposed to get Lou Gehrig's Disease. I had a choice between giving up on my dream or to fight for it. Obviously, I chose to fight. I flew back to Austin and went on the date I had planned for that night. I finished the baseball season, which would be my last. My life went on. Perhaps my proudest personal achievement was getting a 3.8 GPA that semester.
In December of 1998, I graduated from St. Edward's and moved back to Houston to pursue another dream of mine, to coach high school baseball. I had the honor of coaching at my alma mater, St. Thomas High School, for four years. I can honestly say I have never had more fun and it all came to a climax when we won the State Championship in 2001. Behind the birth of my nephews, that day was the second best of my life. The next season was my last as it had become too much of a physical drain on my body because of the disease.
Many, many people have wondered why I can get so upset after losing a baseball game or striking out at the plate while remaining so even keel about living with ALS. And I cannot tell you how many times I have heard someone ask how I can have a smile on my face with all the adversity this disease brings upon me and those around me. At some point, you have to accept the challenge God gives you and begin to fight. I accepted my challenge on that flight back to Austin."