You may recall the father and son marathon team, Dick Hoyt and his son, Rick, who became Boston Marathon legends after their first run in 1980. What was incredibly memorable was that Dick pushed Rick, who was a quadriplegic and had cerebral palsy, in a custom racing chair for the length of the race. This was a tremendous physical feat and reflected the immense love and devotion that a father had for his son. Dick passed away at the age of 80 in March 2021, and sadly, Rick recently passed away at the age of 61 on May 22, 2023. 

Dick Hoyt showed what it means to be a caring father and parent. Without question, there are many challenges in helping a loved one who has a disability, but it’s beautiful when the parent and family can help the family member to participate in society to every extent possible. I can only imagine the thrill that the two of them experienced when starting a race and crossing the finish line. 

It’s quite notable that during their marathon career, the two completed a total of 32 Boston Marathons together, including a final finish in 2014. 

Upon Dick Hoyts’ passing, the Boston Athletic Association stated, “Dick personified what it meant to a be a Boston Marathoner, showing determination and passion, and inspiring thousands for more than three decades.” Even the Massachusetts Governor at the time, Charlie Baker, exclaimed, “Not only were Dick and Rick iconic symbols of the Boston Marathon, but they were a shining example of what it means to be Boston Strong.”

I’m sure there are many fathers like Dick Hoyt out there. They may not be running marathons with their son or daughter, but they are still providing a safe, nurturing and loving environment to their children, especially if they have special needs. The fathers who go far beyond all expectations, show us how strong the human spirit can be. I believe that for them, every day should be Father’s Day. 

Wherever you are in the world, I would like to wish all fathers a very happy and loving Father’s Day. 

Nancy Seiverd, President, CMI Credit Mediators, Inc.

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