He had no idea.
Last year I wrote a blog about my friend’s son who walked off a bus only to face two bullies who proceeded to beat him and kick him while on the ground. Troy, who is 12 years old now, has overcome more battles in 12 years than some do in a lifetime. The blog which I titled “Raising Captain America” caught the attention of quite a few people across the country.
Diagnosed with Functional Delay, Troy has embraced the story of Captain America as more than just the idea of it being a comic character or a cool movie, but an attitude and identity to hold onto and find strength in.
Shortly after writing the blog I got an email from somebody in my social media network who said Captain America at Universal Studios was touched by Troy’s story. He said if Troy is ever in the Orlando area to let him know.
This past week, Troy came to Orlando.
When Captain America heard about this, a text came through requesting his presence at Universal.
This was super exciting, but we didn’t want to tell Troy where we were going. On Monday afternoon we hopped in the car and started driving. With the kids having no idea where we were headed, John and I caught a conversation that Troy was having in the backseat with my son Ethan. Troy was talking about Captain America. John and I looked at each other and smiled. He had his Captain America lego character in hand and had no idea he was about to meet the real deal.
As we pulled into Universal the kids started going crazy. They were so excited saying things like, “This is the best day ever!”
We couldn’t have entered the park at a better time. Just as we walked in, the Marvel Super Heroes Motorcade came racing through the park on motorcycles. The crowd was going nuts as they got off the bikes and immediately dispersed to meet people, sign autographs and pose for pictures. We hunted down Captain America and stood in line to meet him.
When Troy walked up, he wasn’t asked his name like all the other kids. Captain America immediately said, “Are you Troy?” Troy’s eyes lit up. It just about brought tears to all our eyes.
We grabbed a quick photo and he asked some of the staff to take us to a secure location. We had no idea what was going on.
The staff walked us through the park to a venue that wasn’t being used. As we sat there waiting and wondering the surprise came.
In walked Rogue, Storm, Spiderman, Captain America, Cyclops, and Wolverine! They all wanted to meet the brave boy who has proven time and time again that no matter what happens he will always rise up.
These guys are more than just the heroes who fight the bad guys, and that was proven on Monday.
A few hours later, Troy saw Dr. Doom and told us he wanted to meet him. When we walked up, Dr. Doom asked to meet Troy in the alley away from everyone else. One might think going into an alley with Dr. Doom is a recipe for disaster, but Troy was no longer alone. He called on his brothers (Spiderman and Wolverine) and they made sure Dr. Doom behaved. But just for good measure, Troy threw some punches to let him know who was boss!
He had no idea. Troy had no idea that getting beaten down and kicked by bullies would bring him to this point. He had no idea that he would inspire hundreds of people across America. The only thing Troy does know is that when life beats you down, you get back up.