Latest: Peter and Aaron's team won the 2014-15 NWBA National Championship!
I went to Chicago on Tuesday, Dec. 13th, to visit our Captains at Shriner's Childrens Hospital. I got to see Aaron and had a great, albeit somewhat short, visit with hm. All I've got to say about Aaron... HE IS TOTALLY AWESOME!!! Absolutely the "Real Deal." He, by far, is the greatest young man I've ever met. He's just so much fun to be with... full of life, energy, and determination. Simply the very best!!! We had a great conversation. He told me a lot in the limited time we were together. I was so proud to be with him. He radiates that feeling.
Aaron and Peter Berry, with their great friend, JJ Watt
As I gave him his hockey jerseys from GFHA and USA Hockey, his eyes lit up and a huge smile came across his face... priceless, simply priceless. I told him they were a little big and he said, "I like things a little big." He immediately put on the USA Hockey jersey with his number 44 on the back and repeatedly told me, "Thank you." As he was looking over the GFHA jersey with his name and number on the back and the captain's "C" on the front, he was just so happy and said, "Oh cool! Thank you, thank you so much." At one point he did ask me, "Who are the Ice Raiders? I don't know who they are." He got me laughing on that one. I also gave him hockey pucks and when I handed him my pro hockey skates to look over, he said, "Oh wow! These are so cool!" About my skates, he did ask me, "Are these mine?" I hated to tell him no but I had to reply, "I need them." If I ever have another pair made, they'll be his. As he was looking over my skates he told me, "I want to skate." Lost for words, I hesitated a moment and he said, "But I don't know how." I said, "Do you want me to teach you?" He said, "Would you teach me?" I shook his hand and said, "It's a done deal." He replied back, "You'd be my coach?" I said, "I'll be your coach."
He was suppose to sign my stick, which he said, "You want my name on your stick?" and I said, "Yeah," and play floor hockey in the open rec / play area but the visit was cut short. I didn't get to see his brother, Peter. He was in therapy. If all goes right, I'm hoping to get a chance to return before they return to Houston. I've got Peter's jerseys to give him, play a little floor hockey with both, get my stick signed, and continue that awesome visit with my very best friend, the "Real Deal."
By the way, Aaron's body shield is now gone. Another major victory for him. One last thing, after giving Aaron his jerseys, he was looking in my hockey bag as I was going through it to find the other things I had for him and he said, "What's the yellow jersey for (a Tim Horton's Timbit jersey), and what's the blue jersey for (a USA Hockey NHL/ADM jersey)?" Not to overload him down on one trip, he didn't know they were for him, also. I said, "You can have them." In a very nice voice, he said, "No. You give them to your kids." As he was leaving to go to more therapy I gave him the blue #11 USA Hockey NHL/ADM jersey. He'll get the yellow #24 Timbit jersey, too. So will Peter.
- Mick Carroll, Aaron's Friend and Hockey Coach
A special thanks to Matt Walker of Perani's Hockey World and Andrew Merrick of Bauer Hockey Co. for working with me to make this happen. Also, a special thanks to the #1 hockey player in the NHL, Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, and Jake Wesolek, Manager/Marketing Director of USA Hockey's NTDP and the entire USA Hockey U/18 National Team for the to be delivered autographed sticks (can't be sent to a P.O. Box address), and to the #1 blues/rock guitarist, 12 year-old Quinn Sullivan for the signed cds and the autographed concert tees.
Our Captains, Peter and Aaron Berry, were invited by the Houston Texans to a practice and during the practice, the head coach came over to visit with them and told them they are welcomed anytime they want. With practices being held during school hours, Aaron replied "I'm just going to tell my teachers what the manager said that to come out of school and come to the practice anytime... so for sure they'd let us come out of school!" To view the video from My Fox Houston, which includes one awesome interview with Aaron. My advice to his teachers, you better listen to our captain. -Mick Carroll
Their favorite team and player, JJ Watt and the Houston Texans, have taken Peter and Aaron under their wing and are looking after them. This is totally cool! Never say pro athletes don't care because they do. Thank you JJ and the Texans, for taking care of our Captains!!!
Peter and Aaron are great athletes themselves. Not only are they currently ruling the court in the NWBA playing for the #1 ranked Houston Hotwheels, there's a video taken a few years ago of Peter (#31 P-Dog) taking a kick-off and during the run back, do a few shake and bakes while breaking tackle after trackle to score his first touchdown on his very first touch of the ball in his first seaon of him and Aaron playing youth football. And they won a championship!!! Cick here to view.
For more on Peter and Aaron, please read below
For more on the fun evening, which was a dinner for our Captains and their sister, Willa, click the link below to view the video from abc13 and meet the totally awesome Aaron, the young man I met in Chicago.
Aaron shows his approval of his Texans.
(Note: This is a timeline of Peter and Aaron's progression, from the oldest to newest. Please see above or the
special section midway down our home page also titled "GFHA's Most Valuable Players" for the very latest.)
Peter (L) and Aaron recovering from their injuries at Houston's Hermann Hospital,
prior to their move to Shriners Hospital for Children in Chicago
"The Real Deal" Aaron Berry
Willa, Peter, and Aaron Berry at Shriners
On July 2nd, Aaron, Willa, Peter, and their parents, Josh and Robin Berry, were returning home to Houston, Texas from a trip to Colorado. Just outside of Fort Stockton, Texas, the family was involved in a terrible car accident in which three people, including their parents, lost their lives. Thankfully, Aaron, Willa, and Peter survived. Willa, age 6, suffered a broken arm and ankle. Aaron, age 8, and Peter, age 9, had to airlifted to a medical facilty in Lubbock, Texas. Once there, Aaron immediately had emergency surgery to repair internal injuries. Both Aaron and Peter suffered spinal injuries and have pins placed along their spinal columns to help stablize their backs. Both are currently paralyzed from the waist down.
Aaron, Willa, and Peter Berry looking for worms and bugs in their front yard, June 2011
These two brave young men, both great athletes, are being challenged with life's worst obstacles. But as Aaron's youth football coach so proudly named him "The Real Deal" because of his toughness and winning attitude he displayed in helping his and Peter's team win a championship, with our love, prayers, help, and support, both will undoubtedly fully recover and be back to doing the things they truly love to do.... win more championships. Hopefully, the healing process will be short lived and these two young warriors are returned to full health so they can do just that. But they need our help to get them there because, along with their relatives and close friends, they need to know we are all family and we want the very best for them, always.
To our totally awesome heroes, Aaron and Peter, we, GFHA, proudly name you as our 2011-12 Co-Captains and our 2012-13 Co-Captains. We love you!!! You've got a spot in our hearts, always.. the BIGGEST spot. To help Aaron, Peter, and Willa, please click here. Our site will update the progress of our young Ice Raider Captains as they make their way from Houston to Shriners Hospital for Children in Chicago. - Mick Carroll, GFHA
AS OF 8/03/11: Peter and Aaron are at Shriners Hospital in Oak Park, Ill., a hospital that specializes in rehab for the type of injuries both have. Peter, nicknamed P-Dog, is making tremendous progress in the short amount of time he's been there. Aaron, held back a week because of his injuries, arrived at Shriner's on Wed. July, 27th. They both put in some very hard work in the last few days but are very happy they're together.
UPDATE 8/23/11: Great news: After being there for 4 weeks, Peter and Aaron were able to leave Shriners Hospital for a few hours on Sunday to attend a Chicago Whitesox's game. Aaron was able to enjoy the game and eat a real ballpark hotdog!!! It was a day of fun for them, especially after spending nearly 7 weeks in hospitals since the accident. More great news: while Aaron suffered a more severe spinal injury, plus a broken arm and leg, he got his arm cast off so maybe his rehab will be a little easier. Every phase of his recovery is an accomplishment. He still has the head / neck / back brace to allow his spine to heal. Both are working very hard work during the day to become more independent. And both have been enjoying late afternoons in the outside area of Shriners. It will be some months before the full extent of their injuries are known and how much they can expect to regain thru rehab and further treatments. I'm going down in the next few weeks to spend a day with our two captains and take them both an Ice Raiders jersey. Anything to try to brighten their day. With lots of love and the power of healing through prayers, they will walk again. "You Gotta Believe."
Speaking of Peter and Aaron being great athletes, I got to view a video of Peter (#31 P-Dog) taking a kick-off and during the run back, do a few shake and bakes while breaking tackle after trackle to score his first touchdown on his very first touch of the ball in his first seaon of him and Aaron playing youth football. And they won a championship!!! Cick here to view.
Aaron enjoying a real ballpark hotdog!!!
Peter at the game with a friend
After a day of hard work, Peter and Aaron enjoy an evening at Shriners with a friend
James Russell, pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, stopped by Shriners Hospital for Children to visit Our Captains Peter and Aaron
This is absolutely "The Real Deal" Aaron Berry
UPDATE 9/08/11: Great news: while Aaron suffered a more severe spinal injury, plus a broken arm and leg, he got his arm and leg casts off so maybe his rehab will be easier. Every phase of his recovery is an accomplishment. He still has the head / neck / back brace to allow his spine to heal. Both are working very hard work every day to become more independent. It will be some months before the full extent of their injuries are known and how much they can expect to regain thru rehab and further treatments. With lots of love and the power of healing through prayers, they will walk again. "You Gotta Believe."
"P. Dog" enjoying some time outdoors at Shriners
It's A Major Victory...
And We Take One Victory At A Time
This is "The Real Deal," our Captain, and he's totally awesome!!!
Aaron, we wish you the best. Everything will be ok. We're here for you, always.
You're our baby and wll always be our baby no matter how big you get!
You're as tough, and as sweet, as they come., and believe me, this kid is sweet.. simply the best!!!
UPDATE 11/01/11: Peter and Aaron left Shriners in Chicago some 6 weeks ago and are back home in Houston. As you can see from the photo above, Aaron got his halo remove, about 3 weeks ago. What a major victory for him! Both are back in school and doing well. Their favorite team, the Houston Texans, have taken Peter and Aaron under their wing and are looking after them. This is totally cool! Never say pro athletes don't care because they do. Thank you Texans, for taking care of our Captains!!!!
To see the latest on our Captains, including pics of their visit with the Texans, see the top of this page or the special section midway down our home page also titled "GFHA's Most Valuable Players."
"The Real Deal" Aaron Berry
"P-Dog" Peter Berry