Mangled finger? Severe bone bruise? Broken back?
Nope, this isn’t a catalog of injuries from Fight Club—these are some real injuries the Miami Herald describes that now 21 year old David Thompson battled while struggling with metabolic kidney disease and Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID).
The most badass part? He did it from the pitcher’s mound.
“Anytime a doctor would tell me, ‘As long as you never play baseball again, you’ll be healthy,’ it was like, ‘OK, next doctor,’ ” Thompson explains to the Miami based newspaper
No matter what he faced, Thompson’s love and dedication to the game meant he was determined to live his dream of playing college baseball.
So what did as an athlete with life-long illnesses, intense injuries, and chronic pain do?
1. Said, “F**k the Pain”
“I was 13 years old… I was just hitting with my dad, who was the coach at the time, and my back started hurting really bad… I tried to fight through it, but the worse I fought through, the worse the pain became,” said Thompson.
That was the first time Thompson broke his back, which he did a total of three times in addition to a whole other host of problems and injuries.
And while Thompson did have to take breaks—he’s a badass, not a person with a death-wish—as he completed physical therapy, Thompson always had baseball on the brain.
2. Worked Hard
He worked hard at therapy.
He worked hard with his parents at finding a diagnosis and treatment.
And he worked hard on the pitcher’s mound.
Throwing baseballs in a back brace? Screw it. Like all you other badasses with a chronic rare disease, Thompson never gave up even with the challenges and apparently did it with a smile.
“What I remember about David was there were no bad days,” said Rich Bielski, who mentored Thompson while he pitched on Southwest Ranches Archbishop McCarthy’s 211 and 2012 state championship teams. “Every day on the field was special. He made sure everyone on our team knew that.”
Thompson didn’t lose his confidence despite all the setbacks, and apparently he…
3. Wished Big
We’ve all heard of Make-A-Wish, the foundation that makes dreams come true for terminally and chronically ill children. Well, they definitely made Thompson’s wish come true when they sent him to Los Angeles to work with famous coach, Tom House.
And Thompson took full advantage of the opportunity.
“He told me he thought I had the potential to throw 90 [mph],” Thompson said. “When Tom House tells you that, it’s a light bulb in your head that you need to work…Make-A-Wish really helped me gain the confidence to get it through.”
Big Wishes, Big Dreams, and a Big Heart…
The kid who once broke his pinkie high-fiving a teammate has since achieved his crowning goal by pitching 92 mph in front of major league scouts.
“Being a champion for that brief period of time… those moments will always stay in my mind,” said Thompson.
But even off the field, this badass is wishing big.
Thompson will most likely leave the pitcher’s mound post-undergraduate to pursue his next dream of becoming a lawyer.
“David always had the drive and desire, a relentless pursuit of success,” Bielski said. “When someone has that, there’s no ceiling on what they can do.”
Read the whole cool AF journey over at the Miami Herald.
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