Courage is…what it takes to overcome challenges like summiting Vail Pass during the Courage Classic. Or battling a serious disease. For 10-year-old Hudson, courage defines him and his family.
Hudson, called Huddy by family and close friends, will be cheering on his team, Huddy’s Buddies, at the Courage Classic finish line in Copper Mountain for the eighth year this July.
Hudson has lived a life nothing short of a miracle. Born with microcephaly, epilepsy, cortical blindness, cerebral palsy and multiple other challenges, Hudson has been in and out of Children’s Colorado his entire life.
There were many times in the past 10 years when doctors did not think he was going to make it, and he has had to stay at Children’s Hospital Colorado for up to a month at a time. However, with a lot of family and medical support, as well as Hudson’s fighting spirit, he perseveres today.
“Hudson blows all the doctors’ minds,” said Hudson’s mom, Hilary Huckemeyer. “He can’t walk or talk, but he has such a presence and spirit about him. He just glows and has the biggest smile. He is a little fighter.”
Dr. Julie Parsons, a pediatric neurologist, has provided care and expertise for Hudson and his family since Hudson was born. Not only has Dr. Parsons been a medical resource for the little boy, she has also been a support system and friend for the Huckemeyers.
“She is an amazing doctor,” said Hilary. “From day one, she made me feel so good about my ability to care for Hudson. She made everything better.”
Hudson’s family, including his younger sister and brother, have been very supportive and involved in Hudson’s medical journey, and Team Huddy’s Buddies has included the whole family in their fundraising efforts.
The team started after a friend approached Hilary and her husband, suggesting that their family start riding in the Courage Classic. Hilary was hesitant at first. Her family didn’t cycle; they didn’t even own bikes. However, after some thought, Hilary and her husband decided to go for it. They started the team Huddy’s Buddies and began training.
The first year they had eight people, and last year, their team has grown to almost 45. Hilary helped expand the team by throwing “Huddy’s Buddie Parties,” fun events to help fundraise for the hospital and raise awareness about her son.
“My nieces and nephews did it last year, and they’ve helped raise money through lemonade stands,” said Hilary. “It’s so awesome that all of our kids get to see what good they can do and be around that positive environment.”
Hudson has had many challenges throughout his 10 years of life. However, he and the other patients at Children’s Colorado help inspire his family and friends to keep going, especially when it comes to riding in the Courage Classic.
This year, Hudson will be at the finish line cheering on his friends, family and the rest of the Courage Classic riders.
“It’s such a good feeling knowing you are doing it for all the kids and sending all that positive energy,” said Hilary. “This weekend is what keeps us going and really fuels us with all the support and inspiration.”