Jared Alula has been in and out of hospitals his entire childhood.
He is living with down syndrome and a heart condition that stops him from doing some things like other children his age.
The 13-year-old loves to play football but is not always allowed to run as hard as other children.
“Pretty rough,” Alula said.
Parts of his life have been tough to deal with.
Alula is only 13-years-old, but his parents said he had been admitted to the hospital more than 40 times because of issues with his heart
“What do we do? Start crying. But you keep calm. You need to keep calm. That was hard,” George Alula said.
After several surgeries, Jared is on a pacemaker and living with down syndrome.
“No matter what his day is going like or how he is feeling, he’s always positive. He wants to be a part of it. He wants to do it,” Joseph Hooks said.
Hooks coaches the Montgomery Village youth football team.
He heard Jared’s story after coaching his older brother, worked with him, and allowed him to come out with the team and sit on the sidelines.
He quickly became known for his dance moves.
Jared was feeling like a part of the team, but he never got a chance to play in a game until Saturday.
“They say — they saw me and they said ‘you can be great. You can do this. You’ve got to run to the touchdown and dance,” Jared Alula told WUSA9.
It was just one touch and only one play, but the game was a moment Jared will likely never forget.
“Don’t let anybody stop you from trying to do what you want to do,” Hooks told Jared. “A lot of people look up to you because of your skills. I’m proud of you.”
Jared said his special education teachers, family, and coaches all play a part in making him feel supported.
If you want more information on the youth football program he’s involved in, visit this website.