Hearing impaired girl writes heartwarming letter to deaf Seahawks RB Derrick Coleman (pic)
Prepare for the waterworks and grab some tissues, because if this story doesn’t melt your heart, I feel sorry for you. Until a Duracell commercial starring Seattle Seahawks running back Derrick Coleman went viral a few weeks ago, the average NFL fan likely was unaware that he is legally deaf.
The official video of Coleman’s commercial posted to Duracell’s YouTube account has garnered nearly nine million views in just under two weeks.
Two young girls who have seen the commercial and from doing so, have found a new hero, are Riley Kovalcik and her identical twin sister, Erin. The 9-year-old girls live in Roxbury, NJ, and are both hearing impaired.
The girls watched the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers battle it out in the NFC Championship Game to watch their new hero. To see a football player achieve so much despite a disability inspired the girls, especially Riley, who wrote a moving letter to Coleman. The correspondence, containing a few spelling errors normal for a 9-year-old that makes it all the more heartwarming, Riley let the running back know that he is “insperation.” Too, too adorable.
Attempting to pass along the handwritten note to Coleman proved to be difficult for the girls’ father, Jake. After Riley originally asked him to send it to Coleman, he searched Twitter but the Seahawks running back did not have an account.
Via the Daily Mail:
‘…so when the Seahawks were playing, the girls were right there watching and they were like, ‘Where is he? Where is he?’ he said.
When they won, his daughters were beyond excited.
‘Riley said she wanted to write a note to Derrick and could I send it to him, so I said “of course.” ‘When I read it I was like “oh my god, really?”‘
Kovalcik said he searched for Coleman on Twitter Sunday but the sportsman didn’t have an account.
A day later, after the Duracell spot had captivated audiences around the country and perhaps the world, the football player had set one up.
‘So I took a picture of the note and tweeted at him,’ Kovalcik said.
@Seahawks @DC2forlife you’ve inspired my little girls in a way I never could. THANK YOU! #Seahawks #SuperBowlXLVIII pic.twitter.com/lhpJfCPOSD
— jake kovalcik (@JakeIsMobile) January 21, 2014
And that’s when the letter — deservedly so — took on a life of its own:
Before he knew it, the Seahawks had retweeted Riley’s letter and his phone was beeping uncontrollably as more and more fans shared the touching message.
‘Riley and Erin just sat there with my phone, watching, and they were like “oh my god dad, you went viral,”‘ he recalled, laughing.
But all Kovalcik really wanted was for Coleman to know the impact he’d had.
‘I just wanted to show him what he had done,’ he told MailOnline.
‘He inspired my daughters but it’s a great thing he’s doing not just for hearing impaired kids or kids with other disabilities, he’s showing all kids that if you work hard and you dedicate yourself whatever deficiencies you have, you can be great. I wanted to thank him.’
What a great story. Man, is it getting dusty in here or is just me?