Last week a very touching story about a 10 year old autistic boy was brought to our attention by USA Today. The story is about Jake Herzig who loves Notre Dame Football. Jake had attended the Notre Dame football camp a few times in the past, but this season was different.
In the past the stimulation of a chaotic camp environment was a little much for Jake. This year, Jake, took a page from the Beatles – “I can get by with a little help from my friends.” But just who were these friends, try two of the Irish’s rising stars, offensive lineman, Steve Elmer and wide receiver Corey Robinson. Herzig’s father had previously made the acquaintance of Elmer at a school career fair last year. The two hit it off. So when John Herzig asked Elmer if if he would meet his son prior to this years camp, Elmer obliged.
The week prior to camp, Elmer and Robinson dropped in on Jake and just hung out for a while. They played catch and took a tour of Josh’s room.
“We recognize that we’re in a unique position to help maybe make an impact on people’s lives even if it’s a small thing,” Elmer said. “Just like going over and having a burger and hanging out for a little bit. And that’s something you should do if you’re able to.”
The next week at camp Jake had more confidence, and was even more social with the other campers than he had been in the past. His confidence was much higher and he enjoyed his experience this year much more than he had in past years. The only thing that would make Jake happier, would be if his friends came over to visit again.