This week, we are writing about a very special Cubs Fan, Lucky McMahon. Lucky was born with an over-sized skull caused by Hydrocephalus, which has led to a life of intense difficulty. Despite that, he has a wonderful spirit, and an inspirational relationship with the Chicago Cubs.
I was fortunate to have been able to do a remote video interview with Lucky and Paula (Lucky's Mom). I heard all about how baseball has special meaning to Lucky, and how it helps get him through his difficult days. Baseball can be a distraction at times from the challenges. But Lucky also loves seeing athletic plays like only what El Mago can do, and it inspires him to try and do the same. I truly believe that Javy Báez helped inspire Lucky to walk, wheelchair free, at the age of 5. Lucky of course had to wear a Báez jersey for our interview.
Lucky has been very fortunate to assemble a treasure trove's worth of Cubs stuff. He's got autographs, jerseys, collectibles, and over 400 baseball cards (and growing). Not going to lie, I'm a bit jealous! It's a borderline Cubs museum, and it continues to grow. Here are a few pictures of his awesome collection:
When I discovered Lucky, it was because of a viral tweet Paula had posted. In it, people were sending baseball cards to her son. It was one of those good causes that caught on like wildfire. One person started giving cards, then it inspired more to do the same. It's gotten to the point where Lucky constantly asks the mailman if he has cards for him that day. It's astounding to see how something so small like baseball cards can bring such joy to a child.
Lucky grew into Cubs fandom largely from his mom's influence, and has grown into something impressive for a 5 year old. Paula shared with me that he'll sit down and watch every Cubs game, which, given all the talk about pace of play and gathering new young fans, is impressive. Lucky's favorite player, hands down, is Javy Báez. Lucky mentioned that he loves watching Javy hit, run, and play the field. Lucky and I share a favorite pitcher - Kyle Hendricks!
Lucky plays baseball for an organization called the Miracle League, a special league for kids with disabilities. They typically hit off tees, but the coaches try to tailor the experience to each individual’s ability.
Lucky really loves baseball cards and has done a great job of organizing his cards and keeping them in good shape. Baseball Cards were a way my baseball fandom was shepherded, so it's really cool to see Lucky going down the same path. Maybe he'll be writing for Cubs DNA in the future?
It's tough for me to find just one tweet, picture or video that shows you just how much baseball means to Lucky. It really seems to be a constant source of joy for him. Whether it's watching games on TV, playing with his T-ball set, pretending to slide like El Mago, getting baseball cards, organizing baseball cards, playing baseball in his Miracle League, or just admiring his collection of Cubs swag, all of these little baseball moments give Lucky hope. They make him so happy, even though a kid in his physical condition would arguably be justified in being miserable. Baseball gives him hope, and makes his life worth living.
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If this story has affected you personally and you'd like to help out, here are some suggestions:
• From Paula: For Lucky, support him, which has been wonderful. 😁I let Lucky experience everything with life. I want him to experience everything, take it all in. Think about contributing to the Hydrocephalus Association to help find a cure. In September, I am holding a very first Hydrocephalus Walk to raise funding for Hydrocephalus to help bring awareness to Hydrocephalus on September 26th 2020 in the Decatur IL area.
• Lucky LOVES baseball cards. Lots of people will send him baseball cards. He loves getting surprise packages of Cubs stuff. It really makes his heart smile. If you've got something to send him, let me know, and I can get you his address.
• Finally, a family friend put together a GoFundMe for Lucky's upcoming dental surgery. In this complicated age of health insurance, Lucky will incur about $2000+ worth of dental bills that insurance won't touch. Paula needs the money by April 3, 2020, with Lucky's surgery scheduled for April 17th. As of right now, if everyone who follows Cubs DNA on Twitter gives just $3, we can fully fill his fundraiser. That's such an achievable number, so I encourage you to be part of a team effort. Let's change Lucky's life!