A Reluctant Hero: High School Football Player Rudy Favard Is Big Brother to Disabled Boy


Rudy, who one day hopes to work as a marketing rep for an advertising firm, said he fits his trips to the Parkers in between homework and practice and workouts at the gym in the off-season. And he looks forward to them.

Although many kids his age would rather be out dating or with their friends, Rudy said, he has time for it all.

"It really doesn't affect my outside life," he added. "I just whenever I go out I let my friends know, 'Hey, I've got to do this real quick.' They don't mind. They don't care.

"And then I still have fun. Still see all the girls. There's no problem with it."

Even though Sam is blind and does not speak, Rudy and the Parkers say they know Sam knows who Rudy is.

"I think that Sam recognizes Rudy's voice," Patty Parker said. "He usually has a big smile when he hears Rudy come in the door ,sometimes he'll laugh a little bit. He does recognize voices so I believe he knows who Rudy is."

Parker called Rudy "an answer to prayer, a great gift." She said the high school student has "saved our family."

But Rudy sees it a little differently.

"Our paths probably crossed for a reason because that's what God meant it to be," he said. "I mean they're real nice people to talk to and they're part of the family now."

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