Watch the video that shows Kade Perry spending his day with Bruiser. | Video courtesy of Colby Huth and Rachel Levetzow of Baylor Spirit Squad. Special thanks to Wesley and Kelli Perry, parents of Kade Perry.
By Dane Chronister, News Editor
Joy, utter and constant joy, is what makes the Midway High School sophomore Kade Perry stand out in a crowd.
On Wednesday, Kade got the opportunity to not only meet Bruiser, one of his mascot heroes, but actually got a chance to walk in his shoes.
Kade was born with a medical condition, known as hydrocephalus, which has left him without a part of his brain.
“This is just an awesome experience to be apart of I know I can speak for all of us mascots that this is just such a cool experience. Not only are we able to let him be Bruiser, but he has shared with us what it is like to be a Midway Panther,” said La Vernia senior Colby Huth, one of the Bruisers on the Baylor Spirit Squad.
To many, a position as a mascot may not be one of the most glamorous opportunities. Their are copious amounts of sweat, long hours on one’s feet and the fact that the suit can reach up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. However, Perry has taken this position as the Midway High School Panther.
In his journey in becoming the mascot, Kade’s parents, Wesley and Kelli Perry, felt that he might be discouraged if the opportunity didn’t come through for him.
“It was his idea, and I actually discouraged it at first. He had to go through the tryouts; he had to do everything they did. He had to work hard, had to do a skit, just like all the other kids,” said Wesley Perry. “So, I was afraid that what if he doesn’t get it?”
Perry’s dream of becoming a mascot first began when he met Scott Beckwith, a former Bruiser, at one of the last games at Baylor’s old football stadium, Floyd Casey Stadium. His interaction with Kade helped make the entire family Baylor fans and encouraged a young boy to pursue his aspiration.
“He reminds me of what being a man is about a lot of times,” Wesley Perry said.
“Even with my struggles in my job industry. I still get a little skewed on people, but he doesn’t know the difference between good, bad and otherwise,” Wesley Perry said.
“He loves on people that other people don’t love on. He is the epitome of what we are supposed to be,” Wesley Perry said.
Perry’s parents didn’t tell him a thing about him getting to be Bruiser for the day. They planned on taking Kade out of school early and give him the chance to meet up and hang out with Bruiser. But parents and Bruiser himself had something a little different in mind.
“I’d been a UT fan my whole life, but it’s hard not to love Baylor; quality people, quality kids, who reach out and love other kids. That’s dear to my heart. Things like this win parents over,” Mr. Perry said. “Baylor’s always got something good going on, and they are always doing good things. The way people treat Kade is what keeps us here [in Waco.] Everyone is just too good to him and we can’t get that anywhere else.”
Keith Miller, the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance, helped put the Perry Family in contact with Rachel Levetzow, director of spirit and tradition. Miller and Levetzow were able to help make all of this happen with Bruiser and the Perry family.
“It’s really awesome and it has been an honor,” Kade said.
Kade’s parents said he’s full of energy and full of love for everyone and all he wants to do this for is to make people happy. That’s his goal.
“He would wear the suit every night to bed if he could,” Wesley Perry said.
“Kade wasn’t put here for Kade, Kade wasn’t put here for his dad and I, Kade was put here for everyone to learn how to become compassionate with people who are different,” Kelli Perry said. “He is here to do God’s work of showing the way and showing the light for everyone else.”
Kade hopes someday to attend Baylor University and fill the coveted shoes of Bruiser. He also would like to one day be Chucky the mouse at ChuckyECheese and maybe even go on to fill the shoes of Mickey Mouse.
To here more about Kade’s story see the KWTX report from April. http://www.kwtx.com/ourtown/home/headlines/Waco-Special-Teen-Lands-Spot-As-School-Mascot-300634411.html