After a photo of a Florida State football player eating lunch with an autistic boy went viral, the pair reunited for one more surprise.
Travis Rudolph, the FSU Seminole, gave Bo Paske, the young boy, his very own customized Florida State football jersey. He also invited Bo and his mother, Leah, to watch the FSU football team take on Ole Miss in Orlando.
When asked what the two talked about at lunch, Rudolph said Bo wanted to know if he was an NFL player. He said, "Not yet." Bo also told him how much he loved the Florida State Seminoles.
Rudolph said he ate lunch with Bo because he remembered how much of an impact it had on him when college and NFL athletes came to visit. "So I felt like maybe I could change someone’s life or just make someone a better person," Rudolph said in a Metro.co.uk article.
Hopefully, Rudolph's kindness has inspired more than just Bo!
Sometimes Leah Paske is grateful that her son, a newly minted middle-schooler, has autism. Like most of us, she remembers the horror that was middle school--the way kids shun you for the slightest deviation from the norm, the name calling, the feelings of insecurity. The Florida mom remembers all that, and the feelings of anxiety about her son can be overwhelming.
But he, thankfully, seems oblivious. He doesn't seem to mind that he doesn't get invited to birthday parties anymore. He doesn't even seem to mind that he eats lunch alone, though it makes his mom terribly sad.
So when a friend sent her a photograph of her son in the lunchroom, she was overwhelmed again. The Florida State University football team, ranked third in the nation among college teams, sent some of its players into the middle school yesterday. The athletes mingled with the kids. And one of them, Travis Rudolph, a wide receiver, sat down to eat with Paske's son.
"I'm not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I'm happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten. This is one day I didn't have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes," she wrote in a Facebook post that's gone mega viral in less than 24 hours.
That one of act of kindness from Rudolph has made the Paske family FSU football fans for life!
via FB Newswire