Reflecting on my last few years, it sure has been a roller coaster. Before the end of last season, Dr. Charles Steinberg came to me and asked me to write my story of how I became part of the mascot team for the Worcester Red Sox. For fans that are reading this to understand how I came to entertain here, they must know a little more about my story.
Hello, my name is Conor Spencer, and I’m from a small town in western New York called Livonia. I have had many challenges in my life. The first one came at me the minute I was born. I have a disability called Cerebral Palsy. This is a group of disorders that can affect a person’s ability to move, balance, and motor coordination (definition from the CDC website). This has affected my life, from walking, talking, and doing regular daily tasks. This disability has come with several other challenges I have had to overcome. I had many adaptations in these early years, including walkers, wheelchairs, and leg casts.
My disability included needing one-to-one aids. This was a person who helped me write due to my coordination. Then, one of the most difficult parts of my life, having surgery on my legs when I was in 6th grade. This procedure required me to be in double leg casts for two to three months, then, I was wheelchair-bound for four months. I also needed braces that helped my growing feet and legs to stay straight. The last major challenge is my verbal communication.
Seventh grade is where my sports venture began. I grew up in the middle of nowhere with no siblings and two full-time working parents. Between this and CP, it was challenging for me to find activities for myself to participate in. Then, when I got invited somewhere or just wanted to hang out in the village, I couldn’t go because there was no one able to drive me. It wasn’t until 7th grade that I found sports. One of my friends was going to join wrestling and I thought to myself, “Oh, that sounds like fun.” So, the next day, I went up to the high school to go to an informational meeting, then, sometime during the meeting, I received a phone call from my doctor rejecting my “blue card,” which was a form stating I could participate in contact sports. I was devastated. I thought I had finally found something I had a real genuine interest in other than video games. I was excited about this, so this was a big blow.
Over the next few days, I had a meeting with the wrestling…