One of the most recognizable members of the Mets baseball team isn’t much of a batter. His jersey is spotless, because he’s never stolen a base in his life. He doesn’t have a particularly great arm, either. But the number on his jersey (00) is reserved for one of the best loved, most hardworking figures on the field: Mr. Met.
Mr. Met has a lot of fans in New York and beyond, but there was one special place he decided to visit during this offseason – the pediatric floor at Hospital for Special Surgery, the official hospital of the New York Knicks, the New York Red Bulls, the New York Liberty, the New York Football Giants, and, of course, the New York Mets.
And although he visited all of the children in the unit, showing them his batting stance and his size-28 cleats, there was one fan he especially wanted to see.
Eight-year-old David Blicksilver, a huge sports fanatic, was recovering from a successful series of surgeries to repair a very rare congenital bone condition, pseudoarthrosis of the tibia, which had restricted his movements and put him in a leg brace since he was seven months old.
Over the years, David’s surgeons, including Andrew J. Weiland, MD, and Daniel W. Green, MD, have brought his condition to a manageable point where he can experience sports as a competitor – not just a spectator.
Despite his condition, David is unstoppable. An avid baseball player, golfer, and swimmer, he doesn’t think twice about trying any new sport he discovers. “He’s an incredible jock,” says his father, Owen, a PR practitioner in financial communications. “He loves sports, but he just can’t play on any organized sports teams. That doesn’t stop him.”
The elder Blicksilver, a friend of the owner of the Washington Nationals, knew that David and the other kids at HSS might enjoy a surprise. So he called his friend, who called his own friends at the Mets, and they asked Mr. Met if he’d like to meet some of his special fans.
“When Mr. Met walked in,” says Owen, “you could just see the excitement. Not just on the kids’ faces, but also in the faces of nurses and doctors. It was a huge surprise for everyone, although all the people behind the scenes at the Hospital were great in making the arrangements.”
Hospital for Special Surgery, he explains, is the only place where David receives the kind of care and attention he needs. “The level of understanding at HSS about David’s condition and other pediatric conditions is second to none,” he remarks. “They’ve done a phenomenal job with a difficult condition.”
As a result of the care David has received at HSS over the years, Owen established a foundation in his name – the David Nash Blicksilver Fund for Pediatric Orthopedic Care – in order to provide other kids with the same opportunities David was fortunate to receive.
Funds given to this foundation are set aside for ancillary needs, such as wheelchairs, flights to the Hospital, and other potentially overlooked costs that may be out of reach for some parents hoping to gain access to the specialized services available at HSS.
If you would like to give to David’s Fund at HSS, please visit www.hss.edu/blicksilver.