Boy plays wheelchair basketball; goal is to defeat disease

The extreme heat and humidity is already felt and it is barely eight in the morning. The guests begin to arrive at the Altamira Peace and Welfare Center, where the first State Wheelchair Basketball Tournament.

Some carry their chairs, others enter on crutches, all arrive at the headquarters from the different municipalities of Tamaulipas; They have the same illusion of returning to the field after a long wait generated by the confinement of the coronavirus pandemic.

While everyone greets each other, little Liam Mattehus Pérez Castillo turns around riding his wheelchair, it is a new experience for the six-year-old boy who was born on July 9, 2016 with a diagnosis of Myelomeningocele or better known as Espina Bifida.

Liam Mattehus Pérez Castillo plays wheelchair basketball. (Sergio Sanchez)

He is originally from the town of La Pesca, Municipality of Soto la Marina, Tamaulipas, there in the place where he has spent the best years of his childhood with his parents Cristian Pérez Cepeda and Jessica Castillo Cepeda.

From the age of three months, Liam attends physical therapy in order to achieve the goal of walking on his own. In the course of his six years of age, he has had five surgeries; He is currently a patient of the Crit Telethon Altamira, and he also belongs to the Colts Club of Ciudad Victoria; Liam currently takes his treatment in the city of Tijuana, Baja California, at Shriners (children’s hospital), likewise visits different places with specialists such as Monterrey, Tampico, Mexico, Ciudad Victoria, Tijuana, Aguascalientes.

All that walking disappears when the boy from Tamaulipas faces his first experience, playing basketball like his entire team of different abilities.

The inaugural ceremony has begun, Liam forms at the head of the delegation, wears his gray and red jersey, everyone turns to see the new talent that Tamaulipas sports has, he does not perceive it, he only enjoys the great moment that one day imagined having. But that’s not all, Liam is celebrating his sixth year, something that makes his debut with Los Potros de Ciudad Victoria even more special.

On the stage is a marble cake covered with chocolate. While the attendees sing the traditional mañanitas, Liam devours the access ramp, arrives at the place. It is something incredible for the native of La Pesca, Tamaulipas. “Bite, bite, bite”, is heard among the attendees. The little warrior does not think twice; While he observes his great gift in detail, he bites with a special affection, “another, another, another”, they tell him again, it is not one but three bites until he is covered in his angelic face. Very close to him is his father who records this great moment, Liam smiles at him with great tenderness, he is happy.

It is that angel that moves Liam’s parents to do everything possible to cover expenses that are sometimes very high, which is why they carry out different activities to be able to cover them.

Liam is the eldest of his three brothers, he is an ordinary child like the others, he is the one who stole everyone’s affection and admiration, he is the youngest child who participated in the First State Wheelchair Sports Games, in which He debuted as a player on the basketball team, he also won first place in softball throwing and left a great lesson: never give up, always keep faith and hope that everything can change in an instant, it’s a matter of attitude .

Liam will travel from July 16 to 29 to the City of Tijuana and Mexicali to continue his treatment, but he has a memory, that day when he debuted his uniform, that day when he played basketball for the first time debuting with the Colts and the day of his birthday number six where he only made one wish, to start walking on his own but hand in hand with his parents.




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