TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - It's a special day for 6-year-old Cash Griffin. He's signing to officially be a member of the Washburn men's basketball team.
6-year-old Cash Griffin has signed to be a member of the Washburn men's basketball team. He's overcome a lot of obstacles to get to this moment.
"The last thing that we look for in our players is toughness and grit." men's hoops head coach Brett Ballard said. "Do you know what grit is?"
Griffin shakes his head no.
"Well, you have grit." Ballard says.
This is his moment. On that almost didn't come.
"He's a different kid now than he was a year ago or two years ago." Lori Griffin, Cash's mother, said.
Soon after he was born, Griffin became sick.
"He was two weeks old and he had this rash and nobody could figure it out." Lori Griffin said. "Three to four doctor's appointments every week until he was 18 months old and wrong diagnosis after wrong diagnosis.
The disease progressed and took his voice.
"He originally, he did start talking at six months." Lori Griffin said. "He said 'mom,' and he'd say 'I love you.' And then at 14 months old he stopped talking."
Doctors eventually discovered he had mitochondrial disease. It caused seizures, kidney issues and several other problems.
"Oh yeah. Terrified always." Lori Griffin said. "And when they tell you your child has something that's not curable, and when he first got diagnosed at 18 months old, the doctors told me he never walked. He never talk. He wouldn't be able to function."
Slowly, Cash turned a corner.
"He's a firecracker." Lori Griffin said. "He was born July 3rd. Just want to tell everybody so he's automatically a firecracker."
He steadily improved. Cash could talk again. He was running. And he took a liking for basketball.
"It is the one sport he's always wanting to play." Lori Griffin said. "And it was the one sport, he didn't have the ability to play."
So, through Team Impact, Cash became an Ichabod.
"It's a really big part of what I'm like when he's at school and he's drawing pictures. He draws pictures of his basketball team."
Now, the young boy who wasn't supposed to walk is running into Washburn's heart.