A local boy's dream came true this week after he got to interact with his hero, a Super Bowl-bound player for the Seahawks.
Ten-year-old Gavin Ruckes of Lebanon says he is the number one fan of Derrick Coleman, a Seahawks player who, like Gavin, is deaf. Coleman will be playing in the Super Bowl tomorrow against the Denver Broncos and is the first deaf offensive player in the NFL.
"I like him because he is a deaf player and doesn't care if people make fun of him," Gavin explains.
The interaction began when Gavin's mother, Amy Jackson, sent Coleman a photo of the number 40, Coleman's number, shaved in to her sons head. Coleman then posted the photo on Facebook with the caption "Shout out to my buddy, Gavin Ruckes. Love the new cut!! Thanks for the support."
Coleman gave Gavin a shout out again by sharing his "Giving Forward" online fundraiser page. Gavin wants to play football at Donovan Elementary School next year, but he needs a special helmet to play, one that is large enough to accommodate his cochlear implant that aids his hearing. The online fundraiser was set up by a family friend and is raising money to buy the specially-made helmet.
Coleman's second post read: "Gavin Ruckes, 10 years old, has a Cochlear Implant and need a special helmet to play football. He needs our support, could you all help him and his family (Amy L Jackson) reach their goal? This is what its about #AchievingDreams #Faith #Supporting #HelpingOthers" with a link to the web page.
Amy is raising her three children as a single mother and says the proper helmet "is expensive… so we thought that was awesome because he got so many people to donate." The fundraising page reached it's goal on Saturday night.
Amy says Gavin can not hear anything without his implant. "To see him get out there and play and not be told he can't because of his implant is going to be awesome."
Gavin and Amy made shirts and have posters in their house rooting on the Coleman in the Super Bowl, and say because of how he has treated them, they will be Seahawks fans for life.
"He's doing it from his heart, it means a lot," Amy said as she choked back the tears.