Fly Eagles Fly! Team’s No. 1 fan doesn’t let cerebral palsy quell his spirit

“Michael ‘Mike’ McNabb was my patient and I adopted him as a baby. I was his nurse at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where I have worked for 32 years. He was born prematurely with cerebral palsy and lived in the hospital until he was 18 months old. He came home with us on July 18, 1989. He loves his Eagles and basically loves life! Despite adversity he fights every day and puts smiles on faces. His laugh is contagious!

I instantly fell in love with Mike, and when I introduced him to my family, they did too. He was a part of us and we knew that our family would not be complete without him in it. At first, we took him home as a foster child and then we were finally able to adopt him May 21, 1993. It was a long and hard process for adoption, but we battled through it. He came home with a tracheotomy and a feeding tube.

toddler with cerebral palsy sitting down with hands in the air and a tube coming out of his nose
Cathy McNabb

Mike battled so hard and is now healthy. He uses a walker to walk, but he is so strong!

Cerebral Palsy survivor poses with mother father and sister in the driveway with philadelphia eagles apparel on
Cathy McNabb

Mike was born in Philly and was brought into our die-hard Eagles loving family. Since Mike was young, he has grown up supporting and cheering for all Philly teams.

man with cerebral palsy standing with three women and his father who are all wearing philadelphia eagles jerseys
Cathy McNabb

Mike met Donovan McNabb when he was drafted as quarterback.

teenage boy and son sitting at a table together
Cathy McNabb

He also met Andy Reid while he was the coach of the team. Of course, another great connection to the Eagles is our last name, McNabb!

man with philadelphia eagles shirt hands autographed football to cerebral palsy teen in wheelchair
Cathy McNabb

As an underdog himself, like the Eagles, Mike has faced adversity and many setbacks throughout his lifetime. He always pushes through, and with a smile on his face. This year the Eagles were the underdogs and had many setbacks during their season, yet here we are, Super Bowl-bound!

backs of two men wearing Philadelphia eagles jersey, one with number 5 and name McNabb and other number 11 with name Wentz
Cathy McNabb

Mike’s grandfather passed away in 2014. As a long-term season ticket holder and die-hard fan, my father requested to be buried in his Eagles jersey. Mike and his grandfather loved to laugh and cheer together, which makes this Eagles season so important for our family. Mike would love to see an Eagle Super Bowl win for his grandfather.

older man weating a philadelphia eagles tshirt and boxers
Cathy McNabb

Mike will again be wearing his 2004 Conference Championship hat for the Super Bowl, complete with signatures from the team. Mike will be sure to sing the ‘Fly Eagles Fly’ song after every touchdown, as that seemed to bring us great luck on the last game day!

father and cerebral palsy son sitting and cheering with their arms in the air
Cathy McNabb

For the Super Bowl, we plan to be surrounded by family and friends, as we have for every game this season. There will be lots of yelling, screaming, cheering and tears of joy with our victory!”

father holding up cerebral palsy son with four other women who are all wearing Philadelphia eagles jerseys
Cathy McNabb

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Cathy McNabb, 55, of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

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