A baseball-loving kid from Fairfield, Connecticut, Ethan is never happier than when he’s at the diamond with his friends. The fact that Ethan has SMA type 1 (a rare disease similar to ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) hasn’t changed that. Ever since his mom signed him up at the age of 5, Ethan has been an important member of Fairfield Little League.
“You put your 5-year-old on a team, hoping they will make friends, but this has been so much more,” says Kelly, Ethan’s mom. “These kids are not just his classmates or teammates, they are his friends — they talk to him and include him on and off the field.”
For the team members of Fairfield Little League, including Ethan has become an essential part of every game. Each inning starts off the same way: pushed by his team members and cheered on by the crowd, Ethan takes a lap around the bases.
Now that he’s 13, Ethan has officially aged out of Little League. To celebrate his last game in May, members of his team and the community came together to celebrate with one more, triumphant trip around the diamond.
“Watching these kids, talk to him and push him and include him has been amazing,” Ethan’s mom remarked. “To see him part of something is amazing.”
Speaking about what the community’s response to Ethan has been, Kelly says, “when a community is open and inclusive, it allows us to push our kids to not be afraid. We can honestly tell them ‘you can be who you are and do whatever you dream.’”