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You Can't Do That

Story ID:6196
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Biography
Location:caldwell ID USA
Year:2010
Person:Kyle Lograsson
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You Can't Do That

Ready to Cry?

I had the amazing opportunity to talk the mom
of an amazing little boy recently.
This is the story of Kyle Lograsso.

Watch the video links after and get ready to cry

You Can't Do That

Jeff Lograsso, a United States marine sergeant stationed in Japan, and his wife
Regina sat in their hotel room in Korea, where they vacationed to watch a softball
tournament. Their eighteen month old son, Kyle, played with the remote control to the
television. He hit the button to change the channel over-and-over. On one punch of the
button, a golf tournament or an infomercial about golf was on. His parents don’t
remember which it was, but it was golf.

Kyle stopped. He focused on the television. The golfers intrigued him. He
watched them swing. Kyle mimicked them with the remote control. When they swung
their clubs, Kyle swung the remote.

Jeff, Regina and their son returned to Japan. They bought Kyle a plastic golf club.
Whenever golf was on television, Kyle watched and swung his club with professionals.
Golf became his Sesame Street.

Jeff didn’t golf, but a good friend of his did. He watched young Kyle swing and
said, “Jeff, Kyle has a perfect swing.”

Jeff thought nothing of it. His son was not even two. It was too early to think of
sports.

A few months before Kyle turned two, Regina noticed something strange. When
Kyle turned his head in a certain way, and the light was just right, there was a white spot
in her son’s eye. She took him to an optometrist. The doctor looked in his eye. “I think
Kyle has a cataract.” He paused, looked again, “It sure looks like one. It can be removed
easily, but just to be sure, I’m going to recommend a specialist.”

Regina watched as the specialist examined Kyle. She’d seen and experienced
eye examines. The doctor seemed to take longer than normal. Time passed. Her anxiety
grew. The doctor stared into Kyle’s eyes and finally looked up. “Mrs. Lograsso, I think
this is more serious than a cataract. I think your son has cancer. It’s in both eyes.

“I’m certain Kyle has bilateral retinoblastoma. It’s a cancer that develops quickly
in the cells of the retina and spreads. It’s very rare. Fewer than one hundred children in
the United States develop it in a year.”

Regina sat in silence. Was she hearing correctly? Did her little boy have cancer?
Her voice returned. Tears streamed down her cheeks. “What can be done?” she finally
asked.

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Lograsso.’ The specialist stroked Kyle’s hair. “This is a very
aggressive cancer. We have to remove his left eye. With chemotherapy, we may save his
right. If we don’t do this, the cancer will spread to his brain. Your son will only live three
or four months.”

Regina, stunned, said, “What?”

The doctor repeated.

Regina’s world spun. How could her little boy have cancer? He was too young!

“Mrs. Lograsso?” the doctor questioned.

She wiped tears from her eyes. “We’ll do what has to be done for Kyle.”

*********************

Jeff and Regina sat by Kyle’s bedside. A patch covered the spot where he once
had a left eye. His recovery began immediately. Four hours after his operation, he stood
on unsteady legs ands swung his plastic club. Kyle was going to be alright.

Kyle was fitted with a glass eye. Life returned to normal for a little while. One
night he became ill. He labored for air. Regina stared at her young son as he gasped for
air. She grabbed him up, wrapped him in her arms, put him in the car and sped to the
hospital.

Part way there, she knew she wouldn’t make in time to save her son’s life.
Regina pulled to the curb and knocked on the first door she came to. “Call 911!”
she pleaded.

Regina sat in the back of the ambulance as the paramedic administered to her
son. Kyle’s pulse dropped so low, the paramedic yelled to the driver, “You better
hurry!”

Regina closed her eyes and prayed.

Kyle developed a blood infection due to
the chemotherapy. His life was in
jeopardy. They arrived at the hospital. His temperature was one hundred and five degrees.
With treatment, the young man recovered. At the age of three, he defied death once
again.

Kyle’s dad, Jeff, wanted his son to experience a real golf course, but he
thought it best if his son took lessons first. He called several golf professionals in
their area, but none would work with such a young kid. Only one man said, “I
don’t normally work with children so young, but why don’t you bring him over?
I’ll take a look at him and make a decision.”

The professional took one look at Kyle and recognized a Tiger Woods replica. He
used his computer, superimposed Kyle and Tiger swinging together. They were a perfect
match. Their swings were the same.

Kyle is just a little boy with an amazing talent. He has two older sisters. One day,
he took his glass eye out and put it in the box of cereal his sister would eat for breakfast.
She took a spoonful, started to chew, felt something, pulled it out, and began to scream.
Kyle laughed and ran for cover.

Boys will be boys!

Jeff takes Kyle to the golf course whenever he can. Although he doesn’t know
the game, Kyle does. Dad caddies and young Kyle plays. Jeff says people groan when
they learn they have to play with a kid but they soon change their tone.

On the fourth hole of one round, a member of Kyle’s group called his wife. “Hun,
you won’t believe this, but I am being beaten by a four-year-old boy!”

At the time of this writing, Kyle is seven years old and is cancer free. His best
score is 89. For a nine hole course, it’s 38. These are scores I can only dream of. He
would play more, but he has two older sisters. They need their parent’s attention for
their activities too.

When I spoke to Regina, I asked her, “How does Kyle do it? I suck at golf, and I
have two eyes. Just how does he do it?”

Regina said, “Mike, the doctors think he had little or no sight in his left eye from
the beginning. He sees what he always saw.”

I thought about that. Young Kyle sees what he always saw. He grew up in a two
dimensional world. It’s his world. No one told him he couldn’t golf, so he does it.

Kyle is the adventurer of this decade and many more to come. He will amaze
many with his extraordinary skill and make us all reflect on the things we never
attempted, because we were told, “You can’t do that!”

Michael T. Smith

Note:
Kyle was given a membership to the Pauma Valley Country Club in San
Diego by a generous donor. On August 2nd, 2010, you can watch Kyle on ESPN’s Live
Talk.

On September 13, 2010, Kyle will be the host of the first “Through Kyle’s Eyes
Golf Tournament”, which benefits Kyle’s foundation (Through Kyle’s Eyes) which helps
the Eye Tumor Research Foundation and Retinoblastoma International.

To read more about Kyle, his mission and to make a donation, visit,
http://www.kylelograsso.org/

Watch two videos of Kyle

See Kyle’s first interview:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeV0KFgXvO8

See Kyle's follow-up interview: http://www.sonnyradio.com/kylelograsso.html