His best shot: Spokane Guilds’ School grad still defying the odds
SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s the day before the Hawks meet the Wolverines and the coaches at Cheney Middle School are busy assigning events before getting in one more practice.
It’s also seventh grader Noah Hoppe’s 14th birthday, but that’ll have to wait. He’s got to prepare for the high jump, one of three events he’s competing in tomorrow.
“Hopefully making it over that bar,” said Noah.
Being on the track and field team is an accomplishment for Noah, in fact, just him being here, today, is remarkable.
“When you’re child is born, you never think the worst is going to happen and it does,” said mom Marie Hoppe.
Noah entered the world through an emergency c-section.
“At first they didn’t think he was going to live,” said Marie.
Pulmonary hypertension, severe birth asphyxia with acidosis, perinatal depression, and seizures gave a mountain of problems for newborn Noah. But he would pull through.
“My original thought was, after we knew he was going to live, was I just want him to be happy. and to be able to love and know what love is,” said Marie.
His second hurdle would be learning things that other kids pick up naturally.
“Learn to crawl, learn to eat,” said dad Jerry Hoppe.
His first three years of life would be shaped by the Spokane Guilds’ School and Neuromuscular Center. Not only would their hands-on care give Noah a solid foundation to make a smooth transition to public school, it would also instill in him a sense of adventure.
“He tries everything. He’s not afraid to try anything and he gives everything his best,” said Marie.
Best shot, you could say, just like his favorite event in track and field.
“You’re using your arm. Makes it a little bit easier,” said Noah.
“I think he’s amazing,” said Cheney Middle School coach, Eric Beisley. “Kinda can fly under the radar, cause he’s doing the right thing.”.
This is Noah’s first year in track and field but not his first race.
“Him (Jerry) and I are up to 25, 26 Bloomsdays, so we brought our kids into it,” said Marie.
Noah’s been a part of 13 Bloomsdays, a family tradition. He also made giving back, to the program that gave him so much, a tradition as well. Volunteering for the Guilds’ School’s Penny Drive since he was big enough to hold a sign is a yearly event for Noah.
“So then the other kids can have the chance to keep going,” said Noah.
Noah says, he plans to keep collecting coins and doing track and field.
“Hopefully get better as I keep doing it,” said Noah.
And he wants to keep trying new things.
“It’s pretty crazy to have somebody that wasn’t sure about life to be able to do that,” said Beisley.
And while he may not have cleared the high jump bar at the track meet he still gave it go.
“He may not win the track meet but he’s out there doing his best,” said mom Marie.
In some way he’s already way ahead when it comes to what truly matters.
“He knows all the things in life that are really important and the things that count,” said Marie.
“I think he just always tries to see the good in everything,” said his sister, Olena.
“You can’t ask for anything more as a parent,” said Marie.
“Just keep trying and you’ll eventually get it,” said Noah.
The Spokane Guilds School Penny Drive takes place Saturday, April 28.
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