Journalist, Teacher, Coach and Single Father of a Special Needs Child.
As written by Dayna…
I met Steve Kendall at our local gym, where we participated together in a weekly run group. Occasionally, Steve would take my group fitness classes, but I knew due to his own teaching and coaching commitments, that his schedule was erratic, and he was not able to make it to the gym at the same time every week. As I learned more about Steve through social networking, I came to find out that he is a single father of a 15-year-old son with special needs. Cameron was diagnosed at a young age with a rare chromosomal disorder known as Alfi’s Syndrome, or 9PMinus, which occurs in fewer than one child per every 50,000 born. To say Cam is one in 50,000 is an understatement. Both Cameron and Steve are one in a million.
Steve is a quiet, unassuming, high school English teacher, as well as a varsity hockey and softball coach. His entire life is dedicated to the service of other people. Steve is a sports journalist for his local newspaper, particularly busy in the fall, writing weekly columns on Central Massachusetts football teams. He is also deeply involved in ball hockey at all levels, and even represented the United States, playing in the World Championship Ball Hockey Tournament in Canada in 2013, winning a silver medal and Most Valuable Player and Defenseman awards. But to Steve, these commendations and recognition are of trifling significance. To him, the greatest gift he ever received, and the highest honor he has ever been awarded, is being a father to Cameron.
Steve’s love and dedication to Cameron knows no bounds. Steve competes in hockey tournaments, obstacle course races and mud runs as a tribute to his son and the things that Cameron may never have an opportunity to do. Steve leads by example, and has even developed a unit in his English class on Random Acts of Kindness. During the course of the unit he was teaching, when approached by a homeless man in Buffalo, NY, Steve purchased a meal, and was able to report this experience to his students. Steve plans to spend this summer traveling with Cameron on a cross-country road trip and, as a writer, intends to blog about his and Cameron’s experiences, as a father-son team traversing the nation.
To Steve, he is just being a parent. To me, his love, dedication, and selflessness goes above and beyond everyday acts of kindness, and he inspires me to be a more patient, loving, and truly accepting individual.