• Photo courtesy Sandi Codrea
  • Photo courtesy Sandi Codrea
  • Photo courtesy Sandi Codrea



You and I have had several conversations over the years about my son, Roderick (AKA Pokemon). We’ve touched on him as a football player as well as the obstacles he’s faced. There have been many times I’ve toyed with the idea that he may be better off placed in some type of home that was able to cater to his needs better than I. It’s not that I was giving up on him…more of needing something to ensure the safety of the entire family.

Fast forward a few months, his grandfather passed in June 2015. That’s when the lightbulb came on in his little head. He completed a total transformation almost overnight. When given such a positive report, his psychiatrist asked him what the difference was. Roderick said, “I was very close to my Papa and he died. Papa had always wanted what was best for me and I just want to make him proud.” Of course, my tears started to flow. My little Pokemon was turning into a young man.

Here we are in Sept 2016 and I still have that same young man I had sitting in that psychiatrist’s office over a year ago. He is truly a poster child for what a great support system can do for a child in crisis (and I credit you for your role in that as well). Roderick has aged out of the Kids and Pros camps but I wanted to let you know how things are going for him now. He’s now over the weight limit to play little league football (13 year olds can weigh no more than 120 and he’s currently 134) so he decided it was time to try school ball. I’m not sure how this is done in other places so please excuse me if this is what you’re use to. His school has a football team for 7th and 8th graders that they call B Team. There are no tryouts so everyone who shows up is considered on the team. On the first day, they had 34 kids join the team. Now, a little background, Roderick didn’t play little league in the same town he attends school in so the coaches had no prior knowledge on anything about him. Well, he quickly proved himself. He has been named 1st string wide receiver, 2nd string running back AND 2nd string quarterback. He is also their punter.

“Proud” doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel. I’ve been very emotional these last few days just thinking about how far he’s come. And I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the role you and Kids and Pros have played these last six years!!

I’m full of long shots today but if you are in the area one Thursday afternoon and have nothing to do at 5:00, let me know and I can let you know where his game is. I’m sure he would love to see you there! It’s hard to believe my young man is officially a Rustburg Red Devil!



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