My name is Tyson. I am 14 years old. I have to be honest with you 8 months ago I didn’t know what ALS was. Not that I didn’t care, but in my world of Valor, school and sports, it wasn’t on my radar. That changed 8 months ago when my Dad came back from a vacation. At the dinner table he explained how he visited a sick friend. During this conversation he explained that Reza Beigi was a true friend -honest, supportive , but honest when needed. He was the friend who you hadn't spoken to for months and then pick up phone and speak for hours . Mr. Reza sounded like a friend you wanted but rarely found. My mom told me Mr. Reza was best man at their wedding and it was a toast she wouldn’t forget. My dad then told me about ALS and how it was fatal. I was shocked that a disease could take so much of a person. I asked my father to tell me about him.
It seems Reza Beigi loved life and enjoyed a challenge. Whether it was him and my father running or competing in sports as children, or enjoying college, he was there to give his all. My Dad described him as "Brilliant" and "The smartest person I ever knew, but humble" Dad told us college stories from Oberlin College. How Mr. Reza was thoughtful, considerate and musically gifted. How he was also a great debater. My Dad laughed and told me "He could debate why Micky Mouse was better than Daffy Duck and make it sound important." Although my Dad only spent a week with him, I could tell he enjoyed and cherished that time. Dad also told me that his wife's name was the same as my mom's name and he has children the same age as myself and my brother.
To learn more about the disease our family watched The Gleason Movie. The strength, courage and positivity during adversity made me think of Mr. Beigi and his family. I thought about struggles and challenges he and his family were facing. I thought about his kids my age seeing their Dad fight a horrible disease. The movie and learning about Mr. Reza made me realize that challenges will come, but its about how you face them and with whom (family/friends), which are important. One movie quote I will always remember- "It's going to be hard, but it will be awesome!" I hope to remember this when I have bad days.
About a month after visiting Mr. Reza he died. I thought about his family, his friends and the movie. I thought about how I would feel to lose my Dad. I wanted to do something in memory of Mr. Reza. As a 14 year old I didn’t know how to help him or his family. In my declaring I can not do anything, my mom told me "Stop talking about what you can not do, concentrate on what you can do!" To be honest I usually ignore my mom's quotes (don’t tell her), but this time I listened. On that day we found a way we can honor Mr. Reza and help other people with ALS. We investigated the Team Gleason website and realized we could do something. So, we developed "Acing out ALS"
"Acing out ALS" premise is simple. Two teams trying to get the most points by serving and hitting practice cones. My team will consist of myself, Pro Dan Mccain and Coach Christian Mallory (The Williams School tennis coach). The second team will consistent of my brother and his team. The battle will occur June 5, 2022 at Cape Henry Racquet Club, Virginia Beach, VA. Thanks Coach Cummings for helping me!!!
My parents will donate $300.00 dollars to the team that generates the most points.
Don’t feel left out…..You can also donate under the Team Gleason. All funds whether you give to me (the best choice), my brother or team members will go to Team Gleason.
In the spirit of competition, my parents will also give another $ 200.00 to the team that has the most received the most money thru sponsors by July 29, 2022- Mr. Reza's birthday. Being the older brother I have no doubt my team will win!
I am honored to have the ability to help other people with ALS. Please help me, my brother, tennis friends and Team Gleason make a difference.