The remarkable story of a father's devotion to his wheelchair-bound son and how their bond inspired millions of people worldwide.
Born a spastic quadraplegic, Rick Hoyt was written off by numerous doctors. They advised his parents, Dick and Judy, to put their firstborn son in an institution. But Rick's parents refused. Determined to give their son every opportunity that "normal" kids had, they made sure to include Rick in everything they did, especially with their other two sons, Rob and Russ.
But home was one thing, the world at large, another. Repeatedly rebuffed by school administrators who resisted their attempts to enroll Rick in school, Rick's mother worked tirelessly to help pass a landmark bill, Chapter 766, the first special-education reform law in the country. As a result, Rick and other physically disabled kids were able to attend public school in Massachusetts.
But how would Rick communicate when he couldn't talk? To overcome this daunting obstacle, Dick and Judy worked with Dr. William Crochetiere, then chairman of the engineering department at Tufts University, and several enterprising graduate students, including Rick Foulds, to create the Tufts Interactive Communication device (TCI). In the Hoyt household, it became known as the "Hope machine" as it enabled Rick to create sentences by pressing his head against a metal bar. For the first time ever, Rick was able to communicate.
Then one day Rick asked his dad to enter a charity race, but there was a twist. Rick wanted to run too. Dick had never run a race before, but more challenging still, he would have to push his son's wheelchair at the same time. But once again, the Hoyts were determined to overcome whatever obstacle was put in their way.
Now, over one thousand races later, including numerous marathons and triathlons, Dick Hoyt continues to push Rick's wheelchair. Affectionately known worldwide as Team Hoyt, they are as devoted as ever, continuing to inspire millions and embodying their trademark motto of "Yes, you can."
About the Author
Dick Hoyt is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard, and his son Rick Hoyt is a graduate of Boston University. They live in Massachusetts.
Don Yaeger has been an author or coauthor on numerous books, including Michael Oher's autobiography I Beat the Odds. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.
"Devoted is a story that needs to be told. Dick Hoyt's retelling of his life experiences with his family have provided and will continue to provide motivation for people to strive to succeed at anything they do...Team Hoyt's story is one that has inspired millions and will continue to do so."—Deseret News
"Free of jargon, and written with compassion in simple and direct language...Dick Hoyt's book will likely appeal to parents and will be a good choice for teaching about diversity issues."—Internet Review of Books
"This remarkable book is the inspirational story of what can happen when two determined people create an unbreakable bond and set out to achieve the almost impossible."—Tucson Citizen
"A powerful story of devotion and faith...Perfect for general lending libraries."—Midwest Book Review
"[An] inspiring message."—HistoryWire.com
"A must read...Many people from around here are familiar with the Hoyts, but the book is worth reading to get the details on how they started racing and the many obstacles they had to overcome...An inspirational, quick read."—Metro West Daily News ("The Best Book I Read This Year" roundup)
"When I saw Dick Hoyt racing for the first time on TV I thought this man is an animal and I asked myself 'How can this be possible?' There's a famous saying commonly used back home in Slovakia 'love can move the mountains' and that's exactly what Dick did for his son, Rick. I've never met anybody who worked harder than Dick and Rick Hoyt. This book is an unbelievable story; it's goes way beyond just racing, it defines what the true meaning of passion really is."—Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
"Dick and Rick prove that the seemingly impossible is possible with every step they take on their awe inspiring journey. Their unconditional bond of care and support for each other has led to accomplishments beyond the imaginable. They stand alone as a symbol of encouragement to not only the physically challenged, but to us all."—Uta Pippig, Three-time winner of both the Boston and Berlin Marathons and President of Take The Magic Step®
"It is incredible what can happen when a parent and child unite in an effort to find a shared passion as Dick and Rick Hoyt have. Through very hard work they have become a powerful part of this sport of running, Their story is truly uplifting!"—Bill Rodgers, Four-time winner of the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon