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Colin Kaepernick sings Little Light of Mine with the assistance of his parents, Terese and Rick. (Provided by Camp Taylor)
Having improved his touch on the field
"He just gets it," Gamino said. "He went to the heart education class. He asked questions of the medical staff. He went to craft time and learned how to operate the button machine, and it's a challenging machine. He was our master button maker in the afternoon. There's lots of Colin Kaepernick autographed buttons.
The two Kaepernick boys whose time on earth was measured in days would be proud of the little brother they never knew the brother who is who he is largely because they never were.
Colin Kaepernick plays with Camp Taylor campers in the pool. (Provided by Camp Taylor)
The camp's motto: Kids meet, scars blend, wonders happen.
his 10th career start.
The doctors and nurses on site are volunteers mostly from Stanford Medical and UC Davis. Camp Taylor Converse Shoes White Leather
"As Taylor suffered, my husband and I came to grips with the reality that we would never know how strong or how long our son's heart would last," Gamino wrote. "Heavenly Father blessed us with Taylor surviving, and after years of agony we finally could think of life outside the hospital."
His abilities and athleticism are there for everyone to see. What's less apparent is his deep devotion to his family and the humble, poetic way he has found to show them his love and gratitude by helping others specifically the children who, like the two brothers he never met, fight for their lives because their hearts are failing.
"Our future dream is to build our own camp facility," Gamino said.
A year later, Kimberlie Gamino of Walnut Creek, about 90 minutes northwest of Turlock, gave birth to a boy.
49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick poses with Camp Taylor founder Kimberlie Gamino and her son, Taylor during summer camp in July in Livermore, Calif. (Provided by Camp Taylor)
"With his first paycheck, he quietly made a contribution to Camp Taylor," Gamino said.
The camp, headquartered in Salida, provides free, medically supervised summer camps in nearby Livermore for children with heart disease. Campers socialize with other children with whom they can relate there they are comfortable to show off their surgical scars and take part in dozens of activities including horseback riding, swimming, rock wall climbing, arts and crafts, skit time, archery and heart education.
That's not all he quietly did. With little hype and no fanfare, Colin visited Camp Taylor in July and spent six hours among about 150 children, swimming, playing, laughing and being climbed on. Rick and Teresa showed up, too, shared their story and took part in activities.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, we all know so well now, has become a national sensation. The former Nevada star's rare set of skills have made him the most talked about player in the NFL save, perhaps, retiring Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.
In April 2011, Colin was selected with the 36th overall pick (second round) by the 49ers. He signed his contract, reportedly a four year deal worth about $5.2 million.
In 2002, Gamino started Camp Taylor, which today serves more than 500 children from across the country. Each year, 40,000 children who are eligible for Camp Taylor are born.
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"He had so many questions for me," said Gamino, whose son Taylor is now 19 and volunteers at camp. "It was really a wonderful day. He drove to camp by himself. No publicity. His parents came in a separate car.
One of Gamino's favorite stories of the July day was during skit time when a doctor, playing the role of a magician, asked someone in the audience for a set of keys. Colin volunteered and handed him his keys. The trap was set.
Colin, with his parents providing back up, stood in front of the children and sang "This Little Light of Mine," which granted him the privilege of driving his decade old Chrysler 300 back home to Santa Clara that afternoon.
He leads the Niners into next Sunday's Super Bowl against the Ravens in New Orleans in what will be just Converse Dainty Ballerina Size 6
The child, Taylor James, had hypo plastic right heart syndrome with intact ventricular septum. He had been born with half a heart. As an infant, he went into heart failure several times. By the time he was 5, he had had four open heart surgeries and had suffered a stroke.
"Rick and I are very touched and excited that Colin has chosen to work with kids with heart defects," Teresa Kaepernick, Colin's mom, said Tuesday from the family's home in Turlock, Calif., where Colin was a three sport star at Pitman High School before coming to Nevada. "We were surprised he brought it up. It's something he obviously gave a lot of thought about."In 1992, the Kaepernicks moved from Fond du Lac, Wis., to Turlock with their son Kyle, 14 at the time; daughter Devon, 10; and Colin, whom they adopted when he was 5 weeks and who was then 4.
A little while later the doctor reached into his pocket, pulled out the keys and said, "Whose keys Converse Shoes Original are these?" Colin took the bait, and the doctor turned to the children and said, "You know what you have to do if you lose something, right, campers?" And 150 children screamed, "Sing for it!"
also provides hospital assistance, meal vouchers and housing for families whose children are being hospitalized.
As Taylor got older, and after the family had moved to Salida, about 20 minutes north of Turlock, he began to realize he couldn't physically keep up with the other children at school. Gamino searched for an organization or a program where Taylor could interact with other children with heart disease or heart defects. She was surprised to find none in Northern or Central California.
"He sat in the dining hall and ate cafeteria food. He swam with the kids for a couple hours. He just engaged with the kids in fun and laughter. He gave them all great, big smiles."
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