DEER PARK, Texas — Words of encouragement are often heard during certain volleyball matches down in Deer Park.
The matches involve an unlikely pair.
Austin Combs and his uncle Jeremy Fox compete together as part of Special Olympics Unified Sports, a program that puts people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team.
“I’m always there for him,” says Combs. “I’m always going to be there for him.”
And the family pictures prove that. The two have been together ever since Combs was born.
Fox lives with a developmental disorder known as Williams Syndrome. He was diagnosed around the age of 4. Now, he’s 42. The Special Olympics serve as an integral part of his fulfilling life.
“Well I’ve been a part of it for a long time,” Fox says. “Special Olympics means a lot to me."
“Everything Jeremy does is funny,” says Combs. “He’s just a character.”
And he’s a man who finds joy in sport but even more satisfaction in that he gets to do it with that “good kid” he loves so much.
“To me, you have to keep your family close together so I don’t lose family,” says Fox. “Yes, to take care of everyone, to take care of family.”
Words all of us should live by.
Combs and Fox will be part of Team Texas and competing in the Special Olympics US Games in Orlando, Florida in June.