"Dear Rick and Dick,
I showed your video to my students this morning and our classroom was quiet enough to hear a pin drop. The kids had so many questions. We have a boy in our class with Cerebral Palsy. Just this year, he has transitioned to walking without his walker or wheelchair for the majority of his day. One of the kids said, ‘Do you think Dylan could run a marathon?’ and before I answered someone else said, ‘Of course!’ He sat with a huge grin on his face and just giggled. They all wrote in their journals about how your video made them feel and things they would like to do that they never thought they could. The things they said and wrote in response to the two of you and your inspiring story amazed me. People often think children are too young to understand, but your video speaks a language that nobody is too young to understand. For Dylan, myself and our whole class you are an inspiration. I am relieved, that there are people like you in the world who can serve as role models for my students. These 31 little people are dear to my heart and all I hope for them is that they realize their potential, that they are happy and that they do the things they dream of doing. Thank you for serving as proof that this is possible. Thank for believing."
—Sent by Nora Ready and Rm. 504 3rd Grade, Rancho Santa Fe Elementary
"When i first viewed you many years ago my heart missed a beat, you have given me such a better look at life and i just wanted you to know, at times i have been a very selfish person, i abused drink and drugs and have been to prison twice, after seeing you in one of you races i could not stop the tears from falling down my cheeks, you two have made such a impact on my life and i thank you dearly from the bottom of my heart, i am no longer a selfish person, i do NOT drink or take drugs anymore and i believe a lot of this is due to seeing you two, i wish you so much good luck and health for the future, thank you once again,"
Yours thankfully, Raymond
"Your wonderful story inspired a entire school to rally behind my daughter Karlie who also has Cerebral Palsy and uses a wheelchair. Led by her wonderful teacher, Amanda Owen, the school organized “TEAM KARLIE” to inable Karlie to participate in races. The Team began with an idea from staff member Jeff Miller who was inspired by your story. Karlie’s jogging stroller is pushed during the races by Jeff and cross county students Lauren Tucker and/or Leslie Burns. Lauren was a peer tutor for Karlie’s class last year and became a very special friend. Leslie is a member of the BMS cross country team. Jeff is a retired firefighter and long time runner and wanted Karlie to feel what it was like to be involved with running. The school raised the funds, in about 5 days, to purchase the stroller, helmet and other supplies for the team. Team Karlie’s mission is to inspire acts of kindness in others and Karlie wants everyone to remember nothing is impossible with a willing heart. Karlie is part of a wonderful school..thank you to Burns Middle School in Owensboro, KY. They will have run in 6 races this season and will continue next year."
"I just wanted to let you all know that the Virginia Beach Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon was amazing. With my friends Jason and Colton I pushed Christine, a young woman who is completely paralyzed and is currently unable to communicate, but is able to smile and make noises to express enjoyment. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but absolutely one of the most enriching and I’m happy to say that our group finished just 10 seconds slower than my personal projected finish time if I had just been running on my own with Christine “cheering” us on most of the way."
"Dick, I already had the utmost respect and admiration for you, but this experience has just deepened how incredible a man I think you are. I still can’t thank all of you enough for allowing me to be a part of the Team Hoyt team in Boston and for putting me in touch with Trey so I could have the fantastic experience I did this weekend. I hope all is well in Boston. Know that you were all missed in Virginia Beach, but you were in the hearts of everyone running for Team Hoyt."
Best wishes, Laura Monroe
"I'm sure you get these emails every day, so one more can't hurt. I wanted to let you know that you are quite the pair, and my hat is off to you both.
Dick, you know that you are the premier father of all time, for the dedication that you show to your son, and obviously you are one hell of an athlete. I never thought the word 'determination' needed to be redefined, but apparently you did. You make me begin to believe what is possible.
Rick, as much as I am impressed with your dad, I want you to know that you have had a much more tremendous impact on me today. As I reviewed your website and saw the laundry list of accomplishments, I found myself in awe of all of the physical things you two had done together. But I was also surprised by the academic goals you have attained.
That is what made me really take note: I was surprised that you were a college graduate and surprised that you are working on that eagle eyes project. And I realized that I am sad that I was surprised. The fact that I overlooked your obvious mental capabilities made me ashamed. After reading everything about acceptance, I still missed the point. After this cold realization sunk in, I recognized that as good as your story is, the real value in it is making someone like me realize that I didn't default to giving you a fair shake. Even after seeing what you had done with the races, I basically gave that credit to your dad, and I didn't give you the benefit of the doubt to simply assume that you went to college. When it comes to possibilities, Rick, your father made me believe, but you made me understand.
But you know what? Thats why I am more impressed with you Rick. YOU are the one that made me think beyond where I would have been able to think by myself. You are the one that made me smarter today. You are the one that taught me. You are the one took me beyond awe, and threw the switch in my brain to really understand 'possibility', and 'acceptance'. And dammit, you are the one that keeps making me take breaks from writing to you to blow my nose and wipe my eyes, because I am overwhelmed with the realization with how amazing you are.
So thanks to both of you for doing all that you have done. Thanks to Dick for setting the bar so very high for me, because I will do everything I can for my daughter. No matter what the hurdle, I will go the distance for her. She is only 14 months old, so I am glad I found your story to kick me in the butt before I wasted any time being lazy or selfish. And thanks to you Rick, for reminding me that we should default to acceptance, and simply assume that people are capable. Different sure, but capable all the same. I thank you both so much. I know I am a better person since finding your story.
Can. You bet your ass we can. From my family to yours, we wish you only the best. And we expect nothing less for you all.
Josh T. from VA.