Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Iraqi boy's smile is hard to capture in words

Living with a 14-year-old boy -- my oldest son -- I thought I knew a lot about the emotions of your basic teenager male.

That was until yesterday when I met another 14-year-old boy named Majid Sabora, whose smile is just contagious. ("Majid" is pronounced like "Magic.")

He was seriously injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq in February of 2004, and his trip to Akron the next year to get a new set of prosthetic legs from Yanke Bionics was well-covered by the press, including three separate stories by three different reporters at Channel 3.

He's grown a lot since we last saw him as an 11-year-old who was happy to finally be mobile again.

Since returning to Iraq with his new legs, Majid has learned to ride a bike and even play goalie on his school soccer team.

Now .. Majid's back in Akron. He's literally outgrown his legs and needs a new set. The staff at Yanke Bionics sees amputees on a daily basis, but I could tell they have a special place in their hearts for Majid.

Since he'll be staying in town for a few months, I'd love to see him get to visit with the U of A's nationally-ranked men's soccer team before he returns to Iraq later this fall. I'd love to see him get to do just about anything because it's obvious he enjoys life.

Here's a kid who could so easily just hate life for what's happened to him, but yet he smiles at every turn and is quick to show off how much English he's learned. He couldn't wait to get moving on those new legs.
I just can't help but be touched by his spirit. It's a similar spirit to that of Andy Holcomb who also knows how to turn a smile and uplifting conversation into something that lifts all of those around them.
So it's hard to find the words .. and I'm not sure my story on tonight's newscast (now the 4th TV3 reporter to follow his journey) will even do Majid's journey the justice he deserves. Still, I won't soon forget this wonderful lad with the big smile nor the local angels who are working to make Majid's world better.
.. and I pray that his every step be one of joy.

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