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Happy Birthday to my Personal Trainer.

Happy Birthday, Larry Bird!We've been through so much together.

You've helped me discover that daily exercise can be fun, inspiring, and beneficial to my diabetes life.  You call me to check in on me and you make me feel like I'm never alone with this. 

Remember when we went to that bar in Boston and then took that cab ride up to Cambridge and threw our peach pits into the Charles River?  Or how about when you waited in the waiting room while I was at a Joslin appointment and you made friends with that little kid who kept asking for your autograph?  Didn't he start for you on the Pacers?  Or the time we got stuck on the T and accidentally ended up at the aquarium, so we just went in for the day? (Granted, you made me do laps around the penguin mountain for three hours, but I've forgiven you for that.)

Larry, you've been so good to me and you've really helped me stick to my exercise plan.  I'm fitter and happier, thanks to your dedication to my health.  My boyfriend thinks you are a good influence.  My mother likes you.  Even my nephew likes you, and called your "Big Bird" when he first saw your picture.

You once told me, "Kerri, there's more to life than diabetes.  But there isn't anything more important than basketball.  Now practice that jump shot." 

I just want you to know how much you mean to me ... sniffle ... I promised myself I wouldn't cry! ... Happy Birthday, Larry Bird! 

Dinner is at eight, right? 

(Note:  Everything you just read is complete fiction.  But it would be cool if it was true.)

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Comments

I can’t tell if you really know him or if you just think he is cool or if you met him once?

I heard that it was his birthday this morning on NPR and immediately thought "oh, I better tell Kerri!"

Silly me. Of course you already knew, being such close friends and all. :)

tek

You are a lucky-duck to have him. Happy for you!

Your Larry Bird obsession is my favorite SUM subplot. It has a knack of appearing just when I forgot about the last Bird post...

Kerri,

I saw a trivia question on TV this morning about Larry Bird in honor of his birthday. I immediatly thought of you and figured a Byrd post would be coming today.

Happy birthday to Larry!

Wow, I never knew you were such a fan. I didn't even know you liked basketball. I am a HUGE Bird fanatic.

Coincidentally, I surfed over to your site right after reading some pieces on ESPN.com about his 50th birthday.

Yay Larry! (The Hick from French Lick.)

Okay Kerri just so you know. I am 33. everytime I have to write my age down or tell anyone my age I think of Larry now. And I think of you, your blog, and the entire OC.

Thanks for the reminder and for the great year! 4 more months to go.

Oh yeah, Happy B-day Birdman!

Bird is the word.

Larry has helped you in so many ways, and has provided us so many entertaining stories and posts.

Happy Birthday LB!!

I am writing to Larry Bird fans about his impact on my most remarkable friend Dan and his amazing family. I met Dan as a sophomore in High School 12 years ago. I had always enjoyed playing basketball, but had struggled to find a team and a coach who would enjoy it more and focus less on competition and winning. Dan accepted me on to his high school JV team without hesitation. This would be a season I will never forget. Dan taught a young group of high school girls, much more than the game of basketball, he taught us about the wonderful game of life. Dan encouraged us to elevate our level of play through selfless play and leadership. He always focused on teamwork and reminded us that we were all in this together. He was the true definition of coach, and continues to be a mentor to hundreds of children as a middle school social studies teacher.
Dan frequently referred to his role model Larry Bird as he taught us the fundamentals of the game as well as the ideas of strength, determination, good sportsmanship, dedication, desire, and most importantly fun. I can’t remember a practice where Dan didn’t mention Larry Bird’s name, or the fact that one of his most prized possessions was his autographed Larry Bird basketball. He often sported high top converse all stars and bragged that he could take Larry one-on-one any day!
Three years after having the pleasure of being coached by Dan, I was excited to hear that he and his wife had decided to adopt a beautiful baby boy. My teammates and I often teased Dan about being the best Dad ever, and could not wait for a child to be blessed with such a loving and devoted family. Larry’s autograph slowly took second place to Dan’s son, and then slowly to third as he added a beautiful daughter to his family. Dan was always first to brag about his beautiful children, but he would most certainly add how he was proud to show them his Bird autograph.
On September 11, 2006 Dan’s 6 year old Daughter Taylor was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Many people were absolutely devastated by the news, and have rallied around Dan and his family for support and comfort. Fundraisers were quickly organized to help the family with medical bills and support. There were many touching and inspirational moments, but one of the hardest for me was seeing Dan hand over his autographed Larry Bird basketball for auction. Dan did not hesitate to add this to the mix of items being raffled, but it tore my heart out to see him selflessly give away, what I knew to be something so important to him. The basketball raised a large, much needed sum of money to help support the family, but the image of him handing it over continues to break my heart.
On November 10, 2006 Taylor lost her battle with cancer and the world lost a true inspiration. Dan continues to be strong and humbled by the outpouring of love and support from his community. So many people have been inspired and moved by the strength and courage of Dan and his family. In a clutch performance, Dan has truly shown the Larry Bird in him, and come through strong and supportive, very few people could perform as brilliantly in critical moments. Such a tragic situation has brought out the best in strangers as well as loved ones. I continue to look back at the years I have known Dan and often think, if anyone can handle this it is him. He clearly has taught his family as well as everyone he has encountered the meaning of dedication, love, courage and strength.
I thought it was important to share such a story with other fans of Larry Bird. To know that Dan claims Larry as a role model and now, so many claim Dan and his family as a role model really brings more meaning and power to the title coach and role model. If Larry was even remotely responsible for helping to teach Dan the things he has grown to teach so many, I would like to personally thank him for those things as well.

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