(Courtesy of Colleen Tidd at instagram.com/tiddbit_outta_hand)
An extremely empowering picture went viral last month when Joseph Tidd, a one-year-old kid tapped elbows with Orlando Pride footballer Carson Pickett. Incidentally, they have a few things in common – both love football, are sporty, and have a left-hand disability – their arm has not grown properly. And most importantly, they didn’t let their disability come in between their love for the game.
The incident took place in a game when Pickett ran over to where the Tidds were seated and kept tapping against Joseph’s elbow, as he got ecstatic. Colleen Tidd, his mother, decided to take back memories of this home as she kept clicking pictures while his father held him. His father later told that although he wanted to enjoy and be present in the moment, his son deserved his time in the spotlight. He was pleasantly surprised at the popularity this picture had garnered. Joseph spent the entire time simply giggling to himself and looking at his arm, where Pickett had touched him.
Even though kids born with limb defects have a hard time settling in society, Joseph is a bundle of energy and confidence. His parents attribute it to the various people he has met with the same defects, like Shaquem Griffin, the linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks, and Lucky Fin Project’s Amy Alamillo Siesel. The Lucky Fin Project is an NGO that honours and acknowledges people with special abilities.
It has been reported that around 2,250 babies are born every year with some form of a limb defect in the United States. It goes without saying, that such kids need to be assisted and trained in order to acclimatize themselves to their condition in life.
Colleen mentions that when she got to know that Joseph might be born without a limb, she broke down. The 28-year-old mother later regained confidence when Lucky Fin made her believe that all of them together could make it work.
But, quite fortunately, Joseph is an extremely healthy kid at 22 months. On top of that, he has grown a unique sense of humour where he makes fun of his special ability. Even though his parents were quite bemused by that initially, they are relieved that he wouldn’t let his difficulty stop him from anything. Also, his older sister calmed him down back when he had no idea why younger children would pull on his arm. She referred to it as his ‘Lucky fin’, after the blockbuster movie, ‘Finding Nemo’.
The Tidds came to know about Pickett since her Seattle Reign days. And when she transferred to Pride, they were overjoyed knowing that they could actually meet her since she was scheduled to play near their residence.
Joseph first got to see Carson when they went to watch the home opener for the Prides in April. The Tidds wore Pickett’s jersey number 16, to support her and the team. After the game, both the footballer and the little bundle of energy spent playing with each other while the parents discussed how to nurture a single limbed child. It was evident to all that Joseph was very much taken to the footballer, who liked him equally.
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SWEETEST REACTION 💜🧡💜🧡 . . I wanted to share this quick clip from our meeting with Carson the other day. For anyone who has asked “do they really know their different”, just watch this video. . . You can see the moment that Joseph pauses, the look on his face changes…he is thinking hard as he’s studying Carson’s arm. Then the joy that washes over him as he realizes “she’s just like me”. The smile and giggle followed by the unprompted desire to show his arm to Carson. . . This was the moment I love to see when those with a lucky fin connect. We have been lucky enough to see this several times at our lucky fin meet ups with other kids and adults. If you haven’t had a chance to attend a local meet up, go check out the Facebook page for your local chapter for more info. We will be at the Central Florida meet up for those in the Orlando area. . . Here are some pictures from the local news story with Carson on Tuesday. The link to the interview with Joseph and Carson is in our Bio. We even bumped into Bo Outlaw which made for an awesome picture with little Joseph. . . #luckyfinfamily #orlandopride #orlandomagic #booutlaw #tenfingersareoverrated #fox35 #fox35orlando #localnews #locals #heros #mentors #happiness #purehappiness #understand #bond #preciousmoments #heknows #coolarm #joy #giggles #newfriends #centralflorida #proud #limbdifferenceawareness #limbdifferenceawarenessmonth #biggerthansoccer #biggerthanbasketball
In a way, Pickett helped Joseph’s sisters understand that nothing really was wrong or unnatural in him. Her own self-confidence gave them the confidence to not worry about their brother, and simply help him whenever and wherever they could.
The Tidds chart their son’s activities on an Instagram page with the handle ‘tiddbit_outta_hand’. As the name suggests, this is to remind everyone, with or without two limbs, that just because people might be different from each other and do things differently, it doesn’t necessarily make them inferior to each other.
Everyone has their own way of surviving and living on earth, and one should simply celebrate it.