American Paralympic high jumper Sam Grewe took to Twitter on Tuesday to share a touching letter he received from a Japanese man.
Touching message: Grewe, an athlete competing at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, wrote in the tweet’s caption that the local man handed him the note at his event’s venue.
- The letter was signed by Masaki Kando, who introduced himself as an employee for the Olympic Organizing Committee.
- He wrote about his 13-year-old son Haruki, who suffered from osteosarcoma, the same aggressive bone cancer that took Grewe’s right leg.
- “My son had osteosarcoma of his right knee at the age of 10 and had surgery on rotationplasty,” Kando wrote.
- Grewe was 13 years old when he underwent the same procedure that removed his “fist-size tumor,” according to Seattle Times. He decided to have the affected leg amputated so he could pursue being an athlete.
- According to the letter, Kando was anxious about the rotationplasty on his son because there was “no information about its after function in Japan.”
- Kando revealed that his family was inspired after learning about Grewe and his accomplishments on social media platforms.
- “You gave courage to my family,” he wrote. “We are grateful to you.”
- Touched by Kando’s message, Grewe wrote: “Win or lose, this is what it’s all about. This makes it all worth it.”
A local Japanese man just handed me this note shortly after I arrived at the track to compete. Win or lose, this is what it’s all about. This makes it all worth it. pic.twitter.com/tOk4LNrE39
— Sam Grewe (@samgrewe) August 31, 2021
Twitter reacts: Twitter users were similarly moved by the heartwarming post, which has been retweeted over 10,000 times and has generated over 58,000 likes.
- One user called Kando’s gesture a “Gold Medal in its own right & a reminder that we all have more in common than differences.”
- Another commented that inspiring others illustrates the “often unspoken power of the @Paralympics.”
- Kando himself responded to Grewe’s tweet, thanking him for his kindness.
Thank you for your kindness. It was nice meeting you. My son is the same birthday as you. I’m looking forward to high jump tonight.
— masakan_0524 (@Masakan0524) August 31, 2021
The 23-year-old athlete, who competes with a prosthetic blade, bagged the gold medal in the men’s T63 high jump event on Tuesday.
.@samgrewe FLEW 🥇
HIGH JUMP T63 PARALYMPIC CHAMPION! #TokyoParalympics pic.twitter.com/QSVKmbXXzm
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) August 31, 2021
Featured Image via Getty (if we can get a similar photo from Getty)