To walk again..
The #Teamiery Story
Like a lot of American kids, David Iery grew up loving baseball. He enjoyed playing Little League and watching his favorite team, the Cincinnati Reds, play games on one of the 3 TV stations available at the time. As a teenager, David was a gifted athlete for his High School baseball team.
On April 1, 1989, during a high school game, David, then a senior, broke his neck sliding into home plate. This injury left him a quadriplegic, confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The 17 year old suffered a complete spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries are described at various levels of "incomplete", which can vary from having no effect on the patient to a "complete" injury, which means a total loss of function. Complete means no sensory or motor function exists below the site of the injury.
BUT a complete injury does not mean an incomplete life, as David has proven. He graduated from Lewis County High School (LCHS) while in the hospital fighting for his life. He was in Kings Daughters Hospital in Ashland, then was airlifted to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Chicago for rehabilitation. "I was pretty down and out for a few years" he'll admit "I was young and felt like life was over" David says he finally came to the realization that life goes on "I wasn't ready to give up. I am not a quitter!" "My independence is what I miss the most" But with the inspiration and support of his mother, siblings, and baby nephew at the time, David changed his outlook and changed his life around! He was fitted for a motorized wheelchair, and was able to continue his hobbies: watching sports, listening to bluegrass music, and watching western movies and shows on TV.
Despite what the sport did to him physically, David has an undying love for baseball. In his honor every year, LCHS awards a student baseball player with the David Iery 110% award. David makes the effort to be there and give the award in person. Also in honor of David, LCHS holds The David Iery Classic Baseball Tournament annually, Founded by Keith Prater. David and his #Teamiery volunteers orchestrate the event, which includes community participation from several areas. Five years ago, David's nephew Brandon Walker connected his mother, David's sister Carol Cunningham, with a college buddy that worked for the Cincinnati Reds. Through this connection they learned how they could help David achieve a lifelong dream of participating in the baseball teams activities. Through their efforts the Cincinnati Reds made David an honorary captain. On September 12, 2012 roughly 875 community members from Lewis County bought tickets to attend the 1st Annual David Iery Day Reds event at Great American Ballpark.
These traditions have continued since 2012 and have given #Teamiery some serious experience in organizing community events for the greater good. In 2017 David's nephew moved back to Kentucky to help his uncle get The David Iery Foundation off of the ground.
Their "official" mission is to cure paralysis and educate our youth, but it's so much more than that!
"I just want to help people like me. I want to give hope to those that feel like giving up, and invite them to join me in the fight, to walk again. But I also want to help those kids growing up in small towns around Kentucky chase their dreams. Every kid deserves a shot." President and Co-Founder David Iery said.
#Teamiery has had a busy year in 2018. Hosting their 7th David Iery Classic, 1st David Iery Showcase with the Lexington Legends, 1st Bass Fishing Tournament, 6th David Iery Day with the Cincinnati Reds, 1st Diamond Dinner, as well as other event outings with the Cincinnati Reds and Lexington Legends.
"We averaged 800 tickets sold/yr over 6 years with our Reds event. That gave us a lot of exposure and set us up to build this platform to more directly impact our communities and our schools." Co- Founder and Vice President Brandon Walker stated.
The group has big plans this year that includes 2 sets of Showcase games at Whitaker Bank Ballpark this Spring, and other exciting announcements to follow!
Be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter for the latest @Teamiery on both platforms! Stay tuned for LIVE video interviews David and other board members do with Radio and TV stations across the state. As well as upcoming events, informational articles, videos about spinal cord injuries, and daily motivation that reminds all of us to NEVER GIVE UP! Lets change the world! Find more content from our passionate following by searching #Teamiery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.