A story about a mother who has grown up with the love for the Philadelphia Flyers, and her heartache in what she thought was a fairy-tail beginning to her life that turned life full of commitment.
McKinzie Brown Weiss grew up a Philadelphia girl through and through. She grew up in the regular American home where sports were a major part of life for her family and herself. She can remember as a five year old sitting on her Grandfathers lap watching the Philadelphia Flyers and had a crush on Center Peter Zezel. Her Grandfather whom she bonded with unlike most girls, watching hockey at his house remembers fondly many days of going to his home in Chestnut Hills, PA. He even took her to games until he passed in 1996.
Growing up was no different for McKinzie. She remained a loyal die-hard fan for the Philadelphia Flyers and continued to support the team she loved. Later in life, she met her husband, Rich while living with friends in Ohio in a chat room. Rich was a part of the US Air Force and stationed at Wright Patterson AFB. They continued their relationship, and it never once stopped her love for the Flyers.
They had been married for five years, and thought the day of bringing a child into the world would never happen for them. McKinize knew from day one, once she knew they were having a boy, Joey, that she was going to make him a little hockey player. She even bought Joey his first NHL Hockey Jersey before he was born. McKinzie set up Joey’s room like that of a Flyers theme. Orange and Black walls, and even his own style of a Hall Of Fame including the likes of Bernie Parent, Bobby Clarke, and Dave “The Hammer” Schultz. McKinzie was 90% sure at the time there were no other Orange and Black rooms in any house or building in Vegas.
For the first year, Joey’s life was perfectly normal. Living a life that McKinzie thought was to be perfect, Rich and herself realized at eight-teen months old, something was different about Joey. Joey would have fits of constant screaming, and at times it didn’t seem he felt pain. One time he slammed his fingers so hard in a door that his finger nails all turned black and he began laughing. Shortly there-after they found out Joey was autistic on McKinzie’s birthday.
They learned quickly they had a battle for a very long time that was about to begin, something the Military can’t eliminate. Joey did become a Flyers fan very quickly, but also carried that love over into his school work. Joey has shown a love for the “rough stuff” in the NHL. His favorite player is Dan Carcillo, and he also loves Jody Shelly, Riley Cote, and Brian Boucher. McKinzie said that he even yells the “BOOSH” chant when Boucher makes a nice save. Joey is five years old now, and still battling being Autistic. He is learning to speak more, but still having communication issues. He is fighting as if in his own mind he is Dan Carcillo.
One time in school Joey was having an issue with another boy whom was playing rough with him and picking him in the face. This resulted in the other boy getting elbowed in the face by Joey. When questioned by a teacher, he replied he was Dan Carcillo. McKinzie believes his love for the Flyers is an outlet for him to release his frustrations that he builds up while battling Autism. Joey has shown great passion, and has led him to better days in therapy. McKinzie doesn’t work anymore, having a full time job in assisting Joey and taking him from one specialist to another constantly. The life McKinzie has been dealt is that of a true dedicated Mother.
Not giving up hope, her son has continuously shown signs of improvement. She fully believes that the Philadelphia Flyers have fueled that fire for Joey. She even stated that her cable bill is over $200 a month. Joey and McKinzie never miss a game. Joey even gets upset if there is a game with no fights in it. The following is from McKinzie personally about what message she would like readers to understand about Autism and how it can affect kids such as Joey.
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