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The best stories in sports
This is an E60 feature presentation
[Referee whistle]
[Coach yelling]
"Side step, side step! Backpedal!"
None of us wants to be on a sideline
We want to play
We want to be together
That's what brothers Connor and Cayden Long wanted,
to play together
To be one.
It was really hard for them to bond
Connor wished that Cayden could come out and play with him more.
and I think that that had been on his mind more than what we know as a parent.
8 year old Connor and 6 year old Cayden compete as a team,
an idea born from one brother's desire to connect with the other
Interviewer: When strangers look at your brother, what do you think they think?
Connor: That it must be tough for us to have a special needs kid and for me because he's my brother
Interviewer: But what do you think?
Connor: That we will try to give him the best life that he could ever have
Jenny and Jeff Long found out in 2005
that two year old Connor would have a younger brother.
Oh, two boys, they're gonna be best friends,
they're gonna be riding bicycles together
they're gonna be doing all this stuff. They're close in age.
I was so excited!
Shorty after Cayden was born, his parents realized something was wrong.
His muscles began to spasm involuntarily,
his eyes began to cross.
At four months old, they received the diagnosis:
cerebral palsy.
The doctor automatically told me that he was-had an IQ of 50
and that he would live with us forever.
He's not gonna talk, he's not gonna walk
When you're a young mother, you are already scared
You're a nervous wreck when they tell you that.
It's hard.
Well, it hurt as a dad, you know.
You're all excited, you just had a kid.
Then your morale gets busted.
You want your kids to play ball and ride bikes.
You want them to do all that stuff.
Well, I knew my kid couldn't do that.
[Dad's voice] "You wanna go ridin'?"
As they grew older, Connor asked: "Why can't Cayden walk yet?"
"Why isn't Cayden potty-trained?" You know, stuff like that. And we would explain to him.
Connor: "Tow truck rescues many vehicles!"
Connor: "You want to go to school or home?"
Cayden: "Home."
Connor: "Home?!"
[Connor signing] "Do you want to play?....."
Mom Jennifer: "Cayden has sign language,
a little bit of sign language
Because they know each other, sometimes Cayden doesn't even need sign language.
The boys spend as much time together as they can.
Still, often when Connor goes out to play, Cayden is left behind.
Interviewer: "What was one thing you really wanted?"
Jennifer (mother): "Acceptance. I wanted everybody to treat him with respect and dignity, just like any other child."
Connor: "People don't realize that when you're special needs in a wheelchair, you won't be able to get out that much."
Last spring, Connor saw an ad for a children's triathlon in nearby Nashville.
That led to an idea.
Connor was asking questions like, "Well, what are these kids doing?"
Mom: "They're racing."
Connor: "Oh, that's cool! Can I do it with Cayden?"
The answer was yes.
June 5th, Nashville.
Team Long Brothers competed in the four lap swim with a raft.
Three mile bike, with a trailer.
And half-mile run, with a stroller.
To ensure their safety, a coach raced alongside the boys.
I didn't know if Connor would be strong enough to pull Cayden while swimming, then pull him on the bike, and then push him on the run.
[Girl]: "It looked really hard, because we have one of those strollers
and I know that I'd quit if I had to do that all the time."
The brothers came in 31st out of 32 competitors in their age group.
[Crowd cheering]
Crossing the finish line in 43 minutes, 10 seconds.
It was the first time that they had finished something together,
as brothers.
Interviewer: "What was that first race like?"
Connor: "Pretty inspiring to some people,
and it was cool to me that I took on the challenge to pull my younger sibling."
[Cayden singing]
That finish was just the start.
The boys began training and upgraded their equipment.
Two weeks later, they were at their next race in downtown Nashville.
[Crowd cheering, bells ringing]
Coach's voice: "Great job, Connor!"
Connor: "I'm getting stitch."
Coach: "You're getting what, honey?"
Connor: "Stitch."
Coach: "Okay, then slow it down just a little bit."
Connor: "Doing good, Cayden!"
Mom's voice: "Here they come. Woooooooo!"
[Crowd cheering] [Clapping]
[Cowbells ringing]
Crowd's Cheer: Goooo Connor!!!
Coach: "Your stitch gone?"
Connor: "No, but I got this."
[Crowd applause]
Connor: "Did you have a good time, buddy?"
In a few months, they found it.
Racing united them in a way they'd never shared before.
So, they wanted to be a part of the biggest race they could find.
The IronKids Triathlon, with a field of 1,400.
With so many children, organizers told the family they were uncertain
if there was room for Cayden's raft and trailer on the course.
When they told us that, I told Connor, "Hey, Cayden might not be able to do this race with you.
Would you consider doing it by yourself?"
I didn't want him to come in last everytime. You want to boost your kid's, you know, you wanna boost him up some.
and he said, 'No, he would sit at home first, before he left his brother out.'
Coach's voice: "A lot of eight year old boys would want to go out there and win.
He's going out there with the love that he has for his brother to help him participate in the event."
Connor: "If he isn't going to do it, I'm not going to do it."
Interviewer: "Why not?"
Connor: "Cause I like doing it with Cayden and I feel bad for him sitting on the sidelines,
while I'm racing without him."
Dad's voice: "When you have a special needs kid, to a lot of people, they're an outcast.
A lot of siblings and even family members, they're kind of ashamed, like embarrassed of him.
To hear my kid say that, you know, it meant a lot.
Organizers eventually cleared the boys to race.
September 11th, Alpharetta, GA, the Iron Kids Triathlon.
Interviewer: "When you start a race, what are you thinking about?"
Connor: "Finishing. Not 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Just being proud that we finished."
Connor's voice: "When I see him smiling and laughing, that means he is having a good time."
From the pool to the pavement,
the water to the trailer.
Female voice: "Yes Connor! Go!"
Across a 2.5 mile course,
the team of Connor and Cayden Long,
finished last.
But as brothers,
They finished.
Together. As one.
I know it did something inside him, I know it changed him.
With the help of his brother, he has found something that he can do.
Connor: "Say, 'I love you....I love you'
Cayden signs "I love you"
Connor: "You love bubba? Give bubba a good hug."
You know every kid needs to experience something good in their life
You just got to figure out what that is.
We figured it out, you know well, Connor figured it out.
Connor: "Come on bud, come on!"


兄弟間愛的旅程 (Team Long Brothers The Journey of Brotherly Love!)

3067 分類 收藏
Irene Kan 發佈於 2015 年 9 月 26 日
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