Wednesday, March 13, 2013
“I want to be a rock star!” says Timberland student athlete William Capps. And what 17-year old doesn’t?
William is no different than anyone else his age finishing out high school.
He has big dreams. He wants to go to college. He wants to raise a family.
He wants to reach out and help people, especially children less fortunate than himself, and that’s what sets William Capps apart from any other high school athlete who laces up the cleats, pulls on the jersey, or straps on the helmet.
Others may get there with faster times, but no one works any harder than he does. What others take for granted, like running a 100-meter dash, is a challenge for William because of his epilepsy.
It might take him a little longer to complete the run, but he’s running just as hard with his last step as he did taking his first.
William takes nothing for granted and sees himself in the same light as he sees his classmates.
They are all the same. They are no different. They are all part of the same team.
William told his mother Karen once, “I want to be a foster parent someday so I can take care of children the way they are supposed to be taken care of.”
That’s the attitude of a teammate, putting the team, and others, ahead of himself.
I met William during this year’s Special Olympics track meet held by the Berkeley County School District Friday. I met his family and spoke with them briefly about William. I only spoke with William for a few short moments after his first event because he had to leave to get ready for his next one.
But you can learn a lot about a person in a few short minutes, often just by watching what they do. Because the heart of a champion shines bright, all the time.
William Capps doesn’t have a state championship ring, and he competes just twice a year at events like this last week, but he has the heart of a champion.
Getting through a day living with the threat of a seizure, without falling down, enduring the lingering pain and physical challenges from multiple surgeries, this is something William has had to deal with every day. No child or teenager should have to endure this.
“It is the most helpless feeling in the world to sit there and watch your child have a seizure,” said his mother.
For William, it’s just his life and he tackles it head on. For him, it’s just another normal day.
He loves and is devoted to his family. He loves his mother and is fiercely protective of his 11-year old sister Claire, who is equally as protective of her big brother.
If anything happens to William – and when you’re living with someone prone to seizures, anything happens often – she is the first there to protect and take care of him.
“She is his protector,” said their mother.
William wants to conquer the world, just like any other high school kid his age. He enjoys going to church on Sunday and playing guitar, but there’s a difference between William and other kids who don’t deal with the daily challenges and hardships he has on a daily basis.
You see, William has already conquered the world. Several times.
That’s what champions do.