Dick Hoyt of "Team Hoyt" Brings Inspiring Message to Region 8

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) "There's a bond between Rick and I....there's nothing we can't do together," said Dick Hoyt.

Together this father and son team have quite a story.

They spread their message of hope and determination.  The two have competed in almost 1000 athletic events over the past 25 years.  Rick can't speak and he can't use his arms or his legs, but he crosses the finish line.....because mile by mile his dad pushes and even pulls Rick along.

"People come up to us in every race and say you know something, we want to thank you.  We saw you out there doing it, and if you can do it, we can do it.  Now we're in the best shape of our lives, and we want to thank you," said Hoyt.  Inspired by the Hoyt's story, a Knoxville couple made the trip to Jonesboro to see Dick Hoyt speak.  Rick Freer says Dick's message inspired him to lose almost 100 pounds.

"He truly puts forward huge efforts. My efforts are very small....but it inspires me that he loves his son that much," said Freer.

While the Hoyt's story continues to inspire people everyday, Dick says it's his son Rick who keeps him going. He says when Rick was born, doctors weren't optimistic.

"They said forget it, put him away, put him in an institution, he's going to be nothing but a vegetable for the rest of his life," said Hoyt.

Dick wanted more for his son, and his son wanted more for himself.

Dick says his son is a fighter.  He encourages others each and every day, that no matter how rocky the road may be, you'll lose so much more if you just give up.

"Children like Rick are still being born today and parents are still getting the same thing, put them away, put them in an institution. We get emails from parents all over the world saying they saw our story and say wow you know, we're not going to give up on our children. Fathers say, I'm going to go home and hug my kids and mothers are the same way," said Hoyt.