|English: El Capitan in Yosemite National Park viewed from the Valley Floor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The other night I had the pleasure of going to an event. Not just any event but one that made me laugh and cry and feel an immense amount of pride for some hometown homies. The O’Neill family is a family that The Hub grew up with. He was often considered the darkest O’Neill as he spent a vast amount of his childhood in the O’Neill household and The Hub’s Italian heritage was evident among their Irish-ness. I did not meet the O’Neill’s until I was in High School. My best friend was their neighbor and also an honorary O’Neill. Although she blended much better. When I first entered their home, I was teased and ridiculed and tormented and never felt more loved. Mr. and Mrs. O’Neill have 7 children. I love all of them. All the O’Neill’s are extraordinary in their own right, but the two who had the event are Timmy and Sean.
They have done and are doing some amazing things. Timmy is a world famous rock climber. He has been climbing for over 20 years. Sean is also a rock climber and a T12 paraplegic. They came back home for a visit to talk about their adventures of climbing El Capitan, -a THREE THOUSAND foot rock in Yosemite National Park- and Timmy’s non-profit called Paradox Sports. Timmy is the co-founder and Executive Director of Paradox Sports. Check out the website. Their Mission: Paradox Sports provides inspiration, opportunities and adaptive equipment to the disabled community, empowering their pursuit of a life of excellence through human-powered outdoor sports. - See more at: http://paradoxsports.org/our-mission/#sthash.plW2owka.dpuf.
Timmy and Sean gave a slide presentation of their adventures, including their major accomplishments, like Sean being the FIRST ever T12 paraplegic to lead a climb. Timmy is a performer in the most universal sense of the word. His fast paced and very funny part of the presentation juxtaposed with Sean’s very cerebral, pensive and dry sense of humor, made the night flow. It was heartwarming to see all the O’Neill’s, (Mr., Mrs., all their kids and grandkids, not to mention the honorary members and their kids.) This group of people who I feel so blessed to know is the epitome of the word family. If there is a problem or heartache or joy or blessing to be celebrated I know that each and every one them will be there as I would be for them.
Here is the best news. YOU can be a part of it too. Look at the website. Read about Timmy and Sean and all the other amazing individuals involved in Paradox Sports. With just a small donation to help this wonderful cause YOU CAN BE A MEMBER. http://paradoxsports.org/donate-now/#sthash.hAQPizPe.dpbs. When you become a member you will get a hand written note from the famous Timmy O’Neill himself. That in and of itself is worth it, but the fact that it will also help veterans who have given so much for our country along with other’s who’s dreams can be realized makes it that much more sweet.