You never know when you will be the one to have a disability. On August 15th, 1989, Dave Dravecky, a pitcher on the San Francisco Giants, broke his pitching arm while throwing in his 2nd start back since his cancer treatment. After his battle with cancer, he eventually had his pitching arm amputated and started his advocacy of hope for others who suffered from cancer.
27 years later, Prince Fielder, who was the premiere home run threat baseball, retired this past week. The 6 time all star and 6-time top 20 MVP nominee, stated that he could "no longer play baseball." After a failed second spinal fusion surgery, he was no longer cleared to play baseball anymore.
Unfortunately, he was not the only career coming to an abrupt end in 2016.
Matt Imhof, a second-round draft pick for the Philadelphia Phillies and former Team USA pitcher, had his eye removed after a freak accident during an exercise after a minor league game. A mount that held a resistance band, broke off of the wall, crushing his eye. However, Imhof may overcome his disability as another pitching phenom for the Dodgers, Julio Urias, is visually impaired in his left eye.
Earlier this year, we spoke of a trio of MVP nominee Mets who have endured injuries prompting to an abrupt stop or end of a career including third baseman David Wright, Michael Cuddyer, and Lucas Duda. Over the past 3 years, David Wright has battled spinal tinnitus and is currently making the decision whether or not to continue his career. Whereas, Lucas Duda has been sidelined with a stress fracture in his lower-back and has had multiple delays in his recovery. Finally, All-Star Michael Cuddyer, was forced to retire after a failed off-season surgery to repair a core muscle injury and knee issues. As manager Terry Collins stated, "A manager's worst nightmare is to see their star start to fade away."
Regardless of the previously mentioned situations, whether you are a star baseball player or an average person working hard to make ends meet, you never know when a disability will happen to you, unearthing your life and daily routine. In the case of Dave Dravecky, he found a new life in inspiring others with cancer to fight for survival as well as provide hope to the families who love and support them. As for the rest of the players mentioned, they are all surrounded by friends, family and fans who are supportive of them and the struggles they are about to face, both physically and mentally. The physical aspect is obvious, but the mental aspect of not being able to do the things they once did again, that made them who they are is a difficult transition. Who will they be in the future and like Dravecky, who will they inspire to move forward in their own lives.
For those who aren’t players and suffering through a disability, NTI has helped many make a comeback. As a fan of you, we have inspired hundreds of individuals to come back to the workplace, because we believe, they can do it. Sometimes, they aren’t doing the same thing before their disability, but we can provide them the jobs, mentoring and training to be successful in this point moving forward. One of the individuals we helped, Rhoda E. stated, “NTI helped me overcome the stigma of my disability by providing me with an awesome opportunity to work for them and various vendors. NTI provided so many opportunities, certification, training, support, and a wealth of information about unlimited opportunities working from home! Thank you!”
Hopefully, NTI can help you or one of your loved ones head to the next steps in their journey and overcome their disability. If you know of someone you think that we can help, please feel free to contact our non-profit at www.nticentral.org/learnmore or call us at (877) 248-8912. We would love to talk to you.