"The one with no legs, being carried by the one who could not see."
July 9, 2013 3:13 PM   Subscribe

In 2009, ESPN producer Lisa Fenn worked on a story about two high-school wrestlers, Leroy Sutton and Dartanyon Crockett. Sutton was hit by a train when he was a child and had both his legs amputated; Crockett is legally blind. After the story aired, Fenn stayed in Sutton and Crockett's lives, and the three formed a surprising, enduring bond.
Blind and legless kids from the ghettos don't get college educations and shiny accolades, but they should. And that is why I stayed. Because hope and love and rejoicing and redemption can happen to kids like them. And people like me, people from the "other side," who can soften life's blows for them, ought to help.
When he made a visit to the eye doctor in 2009, I asked Dartanyon to include me on the consent form so I could access his records if need be. Later that day, I received a call from the office administrator. "I just thought you should know what Dartanyon wrote on his consent form today," she said, somewhat undone. "Next to your name, on the release, is a space that says 'Relationship to Patient.' Dartanyon wrote 'Guardian Angel.'"
Here's original 2009 story [video; autoplay].
posted by Charity Garfein (26 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
i seem to have caught something in my eye
posted by mlo at 3:37 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wonderful story. I don't think I can possibly watch that video right now without breaking down. I'm going to save it for some day when I'm feeling sorry for myself.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:43 PM on July 9, 2013

More like this. Please.
posted by Glinn at 3:45 PM on July 9, 2013

Beautiful story
posted by CrazyLemonade at 3:47 PM on July 9, 2013


Joking aside, these guys fill me with inspiration and gratitude, thanks for posting.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 3:53 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

As an aside, "Dartanyon" is an awesome name. Great story.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:53 PM on July 9, 2013

What's with you guys making me cry these days? I love you for it.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 3:58 PM on July 9, 2013

Bless Lisa Fenn for staying. Amazing that Dartanyon and Leroy have risen above their life's circumstances and fought for a better life. There is no way for me to describe how uplifting and encouraging their story is.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 4:08 PM on July 9, 2013

Not to get all Firefly here, but:

Tracey: When you can't run, you crawl, and when you can't crawl - when you can't do that...
Zoƫ: You find someone to carry you.

posted by elmer benson at 4:08 PM on July 9, 2013 [5 favorites]

ok, count me in as crying too. That was really inspiring, both for what these young men achieved and for her continued commitment to them.
posted by tuesdayschild at 4:09 PM on July 9, 2013

In search of some random sporting news to get me through the dark days of summer until football comes back to me, I have taken to watching endless hours of SportsCenter on the weekends. It's perfect company when I'm cleaning and it takes almost no attention, and hey, sometimes they mention football.

So Sunday, the hubby and I were cleaning to the standard background music and this story came on. At first, we were paying casual attention but very quickly we became engrossed.

The thing that stood out to me was how surprised we were at Lisa's continued involvement in the boys' lives. What should be expected of the average adult, to provide support to the young people around us where we can, was shocking and unexpected because we've grown so accustomed to the idea that there's nothing we can do.

And it wasn't just Lisa that went beyond, the fans that sent in money as well as the boys themselves. Everyone involved did all they could to make this story have a happy ending and surprisingly it actually worked out.

It's a beautiful thing when life is like a movie. It made me happy to have dirty house and even happier to see a little magic while avoiding cleaning.
posted by teleri025 at 4:49 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

If you're hesitant to watch, don't be. It's really pretty incredible.

I could have watched a full length feature on those three.
posted by sutt at 5:02 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wow, it's getting a little dusty in here.
posted by SisterHavana at 5:13 PM on July 9, 2013

What a great story. The happy ending made me cry for them, for her and for all the kids that need someone like her and never get them.
posted by shoesietart at 5:28 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

This is a great story about youth mentoring. If you would like to make a difference in a young person's life, Big Brothers and Big Sisters would love to hear from you!
posted by Calzephyr at 5:38 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Man, that was powerful !
posted by lobstah at 6:05 PM on July 9, 2013

As someone who generally goes out of his way to avoid hearing about sports, this story (which is shot very well) completely engrossed me. Like everyone else admitting it, I definitely had my tear ducts yanked.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 6:05 PM on July 9, 2013

In a good way.
posted by michellenoel at 6:40 PM on July 9, 2013

I loved this story. I was particularly touched by the way that they all referred to each other as family and she just did what family does or should do instead of it framing it as her doing this as a charitable thing.
posted by colt45 at 7:11 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

"I stayed because my heart was too heavy for my legs to walk away."

Beautifully put. The humanity on display here is world-changing.
posted by dry white toast at 7:56 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh my goodness! Talk about a storybook ending! Thanks for posting that.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 9:04 PM on July 9, 2013

This is just...amazing. Crying here, too.
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:21 PM on July 9, 2013

Yeesh... I love the way that it's becoming more and more evident that family isn't just something you're born into.
posted by drewbage1847 at 11:44 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Lisa Fenn is the purest definition of a mother.
posted by hollygoheavy at 6:48 AM on July 10, 2013

Really awe inspiring. Makes me think humanity still has a chance.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:35 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thank you for posting this, such a great story. It's July 11th and it will air on World News Tonight this evening. I loved this story so much, I actually e-mailed to tell Lisa Fenn how much I admired her. I also sent it to my friend who scolded me about sending him stuff that makes him cry at work. I said I was sorry, I didn't want to be the only one.
posted by Yellow at 5:02 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

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