Got in the cab at JFK yesterday, tossed my bags at the Indian driver with a few words about the address, while in the middle of a conversation with Kimberly to catch up on stuff. While dodging traffic and seemingly finding alternative routes into the city, I saw the driver looking back via his rear view mirror. Just as Kimberly and I ended the conversation, he smiled and said "I have a new baby boy." It felt a little random in a strange way, but then again, I also find the Indian culture a bit more friendly than most. I congratulated him and with that, he pulled down the visor to reveal photos held tight with a rubber band. He slipped his hand under the stack and picked out a 5x7 photo and handed it to me saying "Now I have three, here are the other two." Two beautiful smiling faces, the black hair and eyes to match. The boy, maybe ten years old, was in a wheelchair. His seven-year-old sister sitting on his lap.
The man’s eyes were shining with that parent smile of pride. He said, "My son has muscular dystrophy."
As I saw that all too familiar wheelchair, he must have thought I did not understand what he said or what his son has. He tried to clarify, "You know, muscular dystrophy, you know …" I said I knew. I told him I worked with a team of people who focused on muscular dystrophy and asked him where/who treated his son. He said ‘NYU’ and the name of a doctor I did not recognize. He said he was on something, ‘pred something’, stammering a little. I gave him my card, suggested that he email me about his son and any tests that have been performed. Questioningly, he said, "My baby boy is fine, all the doctors say so" and I have to say I wondered and worried about the doctors, my experience not so trusting. I hope he will call or email. I don't know that he will, but the New Jersey staff is ready to take his call.
There are so many days I wish I could run into a famous someone who would be willing to carry our flag, but then I realize what this is all about and how important it is to run into the Mr. Singhs of the world.