Jenks Football Player's Act Of Kindness Leaves Lasting Impact On Young Fan With Autism
JENKS, Oklahoma - Football player Hunter Spankowski was warming up for last week’s game against Yukon when he saw eight-year-old Andrew Hinkle in the crowd waving.
“I'd seen him over there waving and dancing,” said Spankowski. “He looked really excited, so it kinda made me excited.”
Hinkle’s mother Rebecca Dunn added, “He turned around and said, ‘Mom did you see that guy? He talked to me. He talked to me, and it was like being the special one picked out of the crowd.”
“I just thought he was happy to be there,” said Spankowski
Hinkle suffers from autism and cerebral palsy and doesn't really like to be in loud environments, but this small act of kindness made the event special for him.
“That was the first day when I was at a football game,” he said. “It was super, super cool.”
His mom searched for Spankowski on Facebook because she wanted to thank him for what he did for her son.
“It was really very sweet to watch someone else’s kid do something for my kid; that was just one little moment,” she said.”
“I didn't see the picture until after the game,” said Spankowski. “I was driving home and hearing what his mom said, was really like wow.”
So Spankowski arranged to meet up with Hinkle again to give him a little piece of the game, an autographed helmet.
Spankowski said his thought was: “If I can do something that little and have that big of an effect, how will something big have an effect on him?”
Hinkle said, ‘I hope I will be in there someday.”
At the next home game, Hinkle will get to wear his special autographed helmet to go on the field with the team, and the family hopes they can continue to stay in touch with Spankowski after he graduates.