Texas Huckabey: Living Life to the Fullest

All About Sophomore Texas Huckabey; Football Fanatic and Animal Lover

Texas Huckabey: Living Life to the Fullest

All About Sophomore Texas Huckabey, Football Fanatic and Animal Lover 

 

   Sophomore Texas Huckabey is just like any other high schooler, but due to a rare genetic disease called Friedreich’s Ataxia, he navigates the halls of El Modena on a motorized scooter.

   Friedreich’s Ataxia affects only 5,000 people in the United States.  Also called spinocerebellar degeneration,  Friedreich’s Ataxia affects energy levels, hand/eye coordination, and ability to walk. It can also lead to scoliosis. 

   Huckabey says that “navigating [on a scooter] isn’t really that hard.” Classmates and staff members always move out of the way; but he does say the hallways can get cramped at times. 

   Huckabey will tell anyone that “[football] has been a passion of mine for forever.” His devotion to the sport is evident as he’s often seen sporting El Modena Football apparel at school. Nothing, not even Friedreich’s Ataxia can keep him off the field. During football season, Huckabey takes his place alongside the coaches and players of El Mo’s football team on the sidelines. When asked about his role on the team, he says “I do whatever I can, really. It’s made my high school experience so much better than I thought it would be.” 

   Friends, family, and classmates have participated in an annual bike ride- rideATAXIA- to fundraise for research to find a cure. This year, members of the El Mo football team and many other athletes rode in support of Texas. About the support from the community, Texas says; “seeing my friends working so hard to help me and everyone who’s affected means so much to me. It’s amazing.”

   Anyone who knows Texas will say that he is so much more than just a student with Friedreich’s Ataxia. His classmates will say he’s never without a smile, and always happy and social.   

   Some things you might not know about Texas are his fishing and horse riding hobbies, and his family’s love of animals. “We’ve had a lot of animals over the years,” Huckabey says. “We’ve had dogs, a cat, chickens, and a pig.” He says his family always adopts from shelters or from farmers. 

   One of his favorite memories is playing catch with an NFL running back- while on a horse. 

“I had always wondered if an NFL player could catch on the back of a moving horse. I always talked about challenging someone to it.” Texas says. “One day, a volunteer at the place where I ride asked me about Kenjon Barner. Fast forward, [I was riding] and another volunteer said she wanted to introduce me to a friend of hers. I turn around and there’s Kenjon! We played catch for about an hour, and I even got him on a horse. That was his first time ever riding a horse, so he was a little nervous. After that, he signed a jersey and a football for me. He even let me wear his Superbowl ring.” 

   Recently, Huckabey had spinal fusion surgery. He had two metal rods put in to fix the curve in his spine. Thanks to this procedure, not only will Texas have a straighter spine, he is also now four inches taller.  

   El Modena Athletic Director Coach Ed Drzanek states; “Texas is an outstanding young mad with fantastic character. Even though he has some limitations, you would never know it, because he’s always very active and very involved. There are people here that don’t even have to deal with the obstacles that he faces every day that can’t do some of the things he does. What I really admire most about him is that he lives life to the fullest.” 

Texas Huckabey with NFL Runningback Kenjon Barner

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