TOLEDO (WTOL) - Jason Beiser is a fixture on the sideline of football games at Waite High School. But if he had it his way, he’d be in full uniform and pads for the Indians.
“He doesn’t even think he has a disability,” said his dad John Beiser. “He just goes with it. He thinks he’s a normal kid and we love it. I’m just glad he’s the way he is.”
Back in 2013, we first met Jason when he was scoring a special touchdown for Garfield. It was his first game suiting up for the team and it was a moment he’ll never forget.
Jason was born with Trisomy 15, a rare chromosomal condition. Doctors told the Beiser’s they’d have a better chance of winning the lottery than Jason surviving. Most recently, he was diagnosed with epilepsy. He underwent brain surgery. He had to re-learn every part of his life. He spent 60 days at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus.
Since returning home, he’s fallen back in love with the sport of football and the Waite Indians have fallen in love with him. He is out for the coin toss of every game and watches every game from the sidelines.
“Overwhelming,” said his mom Julie. “For them to accept Jason just the way he is, it’s very warming. All Jason wants to do is be a part of the team, he doesn’t care how it is.”
His strongest bond is with Waite Quarterback Javon Pratt. The two grew up playing together at Garfield and if you ask Jason, he will call Javon his brother.
“Once Jason had surgery and couldn’t play football anymore, Pratt just carried it on for him and said ‘hey brother, I’ll play for you, you’re my brother’” says Waite Head Coach Brian Lee. “Their relationship has grown all over the team, the community embraces Jason, everybody on the East Side knows who Jason is and loves Jason.”
“He’ll come to my games and I’ll be trying to focus up and watch the defense and he’ll be like ‘I love you Javon,” said Quarterback Javon Pratt. “I tell him ‘I love you too, Jason.’ It just encourages me to go ten times harder, because I know he’d do anything in his power to play the game of football again.”
And that relationship has made a lifelong friend and fan on the east side.
And on Friday nights, there’s no question who Jason will be rooting for.
“I like the Waite Indians!” said Jason.