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Disabled child helps cheer Saints to victory

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; CUT OFF — Dalton Pierce of Cut Off wrote a journal entry in his elementary-school class that pulled at the heartstrings of his elders, who then pulled some strings of their own. The 8-year-old, who copes daily with cerebral palsy, ...

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Old 11-03-2009, 11:46 PM   #1
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CUT OFF — Dalton Pierce of Cut Off wrote a journal entry in his elementary-school class that pulled at the heartstrings of his elders, who then pulled some strings of their own.

The 8-year-old, who copes daily with cerebral palsy, wrote of wanting to see the Saints play at the Superdome. His wish was answered Monday with help from a stranger who petitioned the Saints coach’s TV show for tickets.

Dalton and his parents, Dean and Debbie Pierce, watched the team continue a winning streak with seats courtesy of the “Sean Payton Show.” He may not have gotten the experience if it weren’t for the three-sentence journal entry he wrote.

“He loved seeing the Saints come out,” Debbie Pierce said. “That was probably his favorite part.”

Disabled child helps cheer Saints to victory | HoumaToday.com | The Courier | Houma, LA

Dalton wrote the journal entry for a writing assignment in his Cut Off Elementary class. The topic was a question: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

“If I could travel anywhere I would go to the Saints game. I have never been to a Saints game. I want to see what it looks like,” reads the entry, dated Sept. 4.

The teaching assistants who work with Dalton were among those who read his answer. What he wrote wasn’t what got their attention but the curiosity he expressed in talking about it, said Pat Duet, a longtime teacher assistant.

He wanted to see for himself the undefeated team, the color of the stadium’s 70,000 seats, the enormity of the 273-foot ceiling of a dome that swallows part of the New Orleans skyline.

Duet said she began searching for a way to get Dalton to a game.

Another teaching assistant, Elene Martin, shared the story as an aside with her son-in-law, Ricky Guidroz of Mathews. The 34-year-old avid Saints fan said he didn’t know the Pierce family but identified with Dalton’s wish.

“I know there’s a lot of big Saints fans around here, but I feel like I’m the biggest one,” he said. “Everyone does.”

Guidroz sent letters about the child to the Saints’ management and the “Sean Payton Show,” broadcast at 9:30 every Saturday night on Fox 8. It includes a segment called “True Saint,” during which the coach gives his tickets to someone he believes is deserving.

“Let him forget about all of his challenges and disadvantages for just one day, just one moment. Give him one exciting memory that will give him more happiness than anything he has ever wanted!” Guidroz wrote.

He described Dalton’s condition, which affects his muscles and ability to talk. He goes therapy every other week, his mother said, and has left behind leg braces he once depended on and now uses shoe inserts to help him balance.

Dalton, an only child, has had multiple eye surgeries because of the condition. But the complications don’t stop him from trying to keep up with other children.

“It takes a lot out of him, but he never gives up,” she said. “We try not to hold him back. And if he can’t do it, we explain why.”

“The Sean Payton Show” responded within days. Jason Sciavicco, the executive producer of the show, said the submission stood out among others.

“We go with the gut feeling of who could best use his seats,” he said, adding the coach goes through the submissions himself. “Just being able to grant that wish is something that all of us at the show wanted to do.”

For fans like Guidroz, it was just one more reason to love the team.

“That just goes to show you what type of organization they are and the people they surround themselves with,” he said. “It shows you they still have good people out there.”

Dalton’s parents let him find out by watching the broadcast when it was announced that he was getting tickets.

“All he kept saying when he saw his picture on the TV was ‘Yes! Yes!’ ” his mother said. Dalton, who is still developing a liking for reading and writing, will hopefully take the experience as a lesson about why its important to do both, his mother said.

“It really pays off when you try,” she said.

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Old 11-04-2009, 07:38 AM   #2
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Re: Disabled child helps cheer Saints to victory

Wow... That is really awesome! Another reason I love this team!
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:41 AM   #3
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Re: Disabled child helps cheer Saints to victory

Great story, makes you realize that somethings we take for granted mean the world to others ... keep fighting Dalton
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:16 AM   #4
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Re: Disabled child helps cheer Saints to victory

good deal, so happy for him!
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:33 PM   #5
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Re: Disabled child helps cheer Saints to victory

I wish I knew how to contact the Saints coaches TV show. When is it aired? It would really be great to have another game for Dalton to be the VIP. It does my heart good.
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