Minnesota Warrior: Riley, age 5
active, happy, silly
Video by Sean Campe
Riley is a 5-year-old sports super fan. His love for basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling and especially Minnesota FOOTBALL makes Riley a lot like other boys his age. However, Riley was born with Cystic Fibrosis.
“It was such a shock to our family as we had never heard of this disease,” recalls Riley’s mom, Tara. Like most parents who are faced with an unknown disease, Tara and her husband Joey started researching immediately and found comfort in the CF community.
Tara and Joey quickly focused on what they could control. They learned all they could about CF, connected with other parents who had been in their position and found other resources for CF families.
The Eincks credit CF for helping them realize that experiences and making memories are some of the most important things we can do in this life. They applied for the Legacy Project in hopes that Riley could have the opportunity to do daily treatment using an AffloVest - without being tied down the way he was with his airway clearance equipment. They wanted Riley to stay busy and active while still making sure treatments are a priority.
Riley’s Legacy Day - “Row the boat”
The Legacy Foundation and AffloVest teamed up with the University of Minnesota Football program to create a day that Riley won’t soon forget. Coach Fleck and his team demonstrated their culture of serving and giving and created an game day experience for Riley and his family that included plenty of Golden Gopher gear, Riley’s own locker, a #65 jersey and the special presentation of an oar with a message that resonates with this family. “Row the boat” is a Coach Fleck mantra used to inspire persistence and resilience to overcome adversity and obstacles in order to be your personal best. Thanks to Coach Fleck and UMN, Riley has added rowing to his long list of favorite sports!
During the football game, Colton and representatives from AffloVest announced Riley as the Minnesota Legacy Project recipient and presented him his AffloVest! Riley got fitted and the family got a tutorial so Riley could immediately start doing his daily treatments just as his parents had hoped for him - free of hoses!