This guest post is by Kara Viscito who is a mother of three from New Jersey.
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog for Autism Speaks about Marvin who has autism and how he played the drums with The Jets Aviators Drum line outside of Jets Stadium. After the blog went live it picked up a ton of traffic. That’s when The NY Jets and The CEO Of Gallant Entertainment who run the drum line got in touch. They told me they wanted Marvin to come back and perform with the drum line during the Jets/Dolphins game!
The day of the performance came, which started with a 5 am wake up. We ate, got Marvin into his new Aviators uniform they had sent for him and then headed to the stadium. The day began with a quick rehearsal and then the magic began. They began in the parking lots, marching and playing trying to get as many fans excited as possible. One of the things I was most impressed with was Marvin’s rhythm. One of the advantages of his autism is he memorizes these routines quickly after hearing it only a few times.
After the parking lots they then went to the player walkway. You would think after all this walking he would want to stop but Marvin told me “I am fine Momma, I am an AVIATOR!” He went into that stadium with so much passion. Fans even cheered his name directly saying they read about him!
Then his shining moment came. As they approached the stadium the announcer said “And now welcome Marvin and the Aviators!” Marvin couldn’t believe it. He was like, “Momma! That’s me! They said my name!" Here was just another fantastic moment as complete strangers came up to me and my husband talking about how great he is doing.
The Jets Aviators led by Marvin marched through the crowds and onto the field. They were able to do their pregame performance and Jets fans went absolutely nuts. We originally thought Marvin would need to be on the sideline for this as he never had any rehearsal with their numbers but they still invited him right in their with them and he did perfect.
At halftime Marvin got to take a break. He was a bit tired so I asked him if he wanted to go but off he goes saying, “I gotta go play!” During the 3rd quarter Marvin even fell asleep for a minute on the sideline. Then the Aviators began doing another one of their numbers and he woke right up and started to beat his drum again.
After the game the Aviators marched one last time back downstairs and to the MetLife Central stage. When we were there I saw a little boy dancing in the center of the stage. Marvin looks up to the Aviator next to him and points to the little boy. Marvin then went to meet the little boy in the center where he takes out another set of drumsticks. Then the two played together with there little drums! Marvin was so sweet I began to cry. So touching and so loving.
What an amazing day this was. What a proud mother I am. What a proud fan of the Jets organization I am. Again, I need to publically thank Autism Speaks for running the original article that made this day possible. And thanks to the NY Jets and Jets Aviators for their generosity and the care they showed and to all the fans who took time out of their day to cheer on my son.
GO JETS! GO!