HOUSTON — An 11-year-old girl had the time of her life this month when she got to do something nobody thought she'd be able to.
Mary, who was born with cerebral palsy, got to steal a base at the Astros game.
“For her, it’s what makes her non-verbal, because the part that controls speech is affected and her muscles and all that don’t communicate with her brain the way they should,” said her mother Kalyn Burnaman.
When she was young, her doctors were less than optimistic.
“Her doctors basically gave us no hope,” Burnaman said. “They told us she wouldn’t be able to eat, she won’t be able to talk, she won’t be able to walk, she’ll need help for the rest of her life.”
One of them even advised the mother to give Mary up.
“He told us when she’s of mature age, basically a teenager, to put her in a home,” Burnaman said.
But for this family, that simply wouldn’t do. Instead of giving up hope, they put in work.
“We’ve literally been in therapy since she was three months old,” Burnaman said.
Mary’s thousands of hours of hard work have paid off.
When her family asked if she could steal the base like the other kids do between innings at Astros games – they weren’t sure if the team would go for it.
“There’s a lot of times we’re told she can’t do something because it’s not accessible, or it’s a liability, or it's too hard,” Burnaman said.
To their surprise, the team said it was fine.
And with the help of her mom, Mary went to steal a base with an unforgettable smile on her face.
“I think they see a kid who is typically in a wheelchair that shouldn’t be able to do the things that she can do and she basically ran to steal the base,” Burnaman said.
This was the game that Mary won, proving so many naysayers wrong.
“She’s just like everybody else,” Burnaman said. “It just takes a little bit of accommodation and modification.”