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Brian Gives Best Effort Every Day

January 2, 2007

By W. James Edminson

Adjusting to life at Baptist Children’s Homes’ (BCH) Davis House in Winston-Salem has gone smoothly for Brian.

“It’s nice,” he says. But he confides “I kind of miss Mom’s cooking.”

The Cary native lived with his mom and dad his entire life prior to moving to Davis House. His life at home was filled with love and attention. His family provided the security and care that a child with developmental disabilities so often needs.

But as good as life had been for Brian, he still looked forward to his move. The thirty seven year old is proud of the fact that he “is out on his own.”

From its conception, BCH’s Developmental Disabilities Ministry has worked to give families peace of mind. Many parents with developmentally disabled adults selflessly care for their children their entire lives. But time encroaches, and facing old age, parents have fears concerning their children’s futures.

For Brian and his family, Davis House has been the perfect solution.

Brian’s outgoing attitude and friendly demeanor is preceded by his big smile and flashing glances. His days are immersed in living with his housemates at Davis House and spending afternoons at the local YMCA and Tiger Kim’s Tae Kwon Do dojo. Brian loves to be active. He has studied Tae Kwon Do for nearly ten years, competing and winning trophies and accolades. He is a participant in Special Olympics and loves to play basketball.

Brian’s conversation changes when he begins to talk sports. The avid sports fan knows details of his favorite teams reaching back to Dean Smith’s dynasty and the Troy Aikman Dallas Cowboys. He can recite in detail the last game of this year’s World Series when his favored team, the Mets, lost.

Brian enthusiastically tells of the time when he and a team of other developmentally disabled players competed at halftime on the court of the “Dean Dome” on the University of North Carolina’s (UNC) Chapel Hill campus.

He is also knowledgeable of college football. Brian is up on all the coaching changes in the state and is hopeful that Carolina’s new coach, Butch Davis, will be good for the program. “He did well in Miami; we’ll see.”

But his main interest this time of year is Tar Heel basketball. “I’m a Tar Heel fan,” he says proudly.

“We won it all in ’05,” he says, recalling the Tar Heels’ most recent NCAA basketball championship. Brian confides that he was surprised when UNC coach Roy Williams left his previous job at Kansas. “But here he is, all Tar Heel blue now!”

Brian was concerned about this year’s season after UNC fell early to Gonzaga. “But,” he observes, “Coach Roy got after them, and now they are soaring.”

“I want them to win the championship again,” he says. “That would be great. . .it would really be something.”

According to Brian, it is too early to say if the Tar Heels can take it all in March, but his advice to Williams and the team is to go out every game, play hard and do their best.

Brian lives that advice daily as he puts his best effort forward – whether he’s working out at the “Y”, lending a hand around Davis House, or sitting on the sidelines and cheering his favorite team.