If you are reading this, chances are you are a soccer fan and given where you are reading this, you are a Houston Dynamo fan. If you are a Dynamo fan then you have spent much of the season complaining about poor results and now the team's failure to make the playoffs which may feel like the end of the world. As fans, we get so wrapped up in our teams that we lose perspective about what is really important and it's not winning or losing games.
Prior to the game on Thursday against New England fans noticed Houston Dynamo player Giles Barnes walk over and give his boots to a small child who was watching warm-ups.
"I had the idea of giving my boots away to someone who may not necessarily be able to do a competition on Twitter. So, I asked Steph (Gonzalez) if there was a child or fan we were hosting, "Barnes said when asked about it. "She told me Bennett's story and I was like he has to have them."
Bennett's story is that he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011 at just 18 months old. Doctors and hospitals quickly became a regular part of Bennett and his family's life. Unfortunately, they have continued to be important these last couple of year. His most recent surgery was in early September when he had a partial resection of his tumor and cysts. After the surgery he spent 17 days in the hospital recovering and undergoing intense rehab. Now they are waiting to check his tumor in December to see if it is growing. If it isn't, Bennett will finally be able to go back to school and if it is, it will mean radiation therapy for him.
Surgery, radiation and rehab have all been major parts of his short life, but he has made a huge impact on others. After receiving a bear during his stay in the hospital over Christmas in 2011 his parents, Brande and Randy Nester, were inspired to start Bennett's Bears. The organization donates Build-A-Bears to children who are in the hospital over the holidays. In 2012 they were able to collect and give out 250 bear in 2013 that number jumped to 950.
Barnes said, "I wanted to do something nice." What Barnes did was more than just something nice. It goes beyond giving a pair of boots to a little boy who has spent his life fighting for life.
Giles Barnes helped remind us that there is more to life than soccer even when you are minutes away from kick-off.