Meeting a Wonderful Coach
The day was hot, and the crowd was busy. Vendors displayed their wares ranging from fresh produce to delicious homemade jams. It was Farmers Market Day in Little Italy. But exploring the market wasn't my goal that day. My goal destination was a particular booth to meet a particular person, Coach Rob Mendez.
Located by the Parakeet Café, Coach Rob hosted a Book Signing event for his new book, "Who Says I Can't." The signing was held on Saturday, September 25, from 8 am to 2 pm during the Little Italy Mercato. KUSI covered his signing and aired it at 6:45 PM that same night. Great job KUSI News for having disability representation. Another significant step in getting disability representation in the media. Feel free to keep that momentum going. The more disability representation we can get into the media the more we can advocate. I even got to be on tv at the signing!
The book narrates the coach's life story living with an extraordinarily rare condition called tetra-amelia syndrome, leaving him without arms or legs. Refusing to let his disability block him from his dream, Mendez gained his first coaching job. Currently, Mendez serves as the offensive coordinator for Francis Parker. Throughout his football coaching career, the Coach strives to be an inspiration for both his students and professional athletes. With over twenty thousand followers on Instagram with another four thousand on Twitter, it's safe to say Mendez has definitely inspired many people.
It was a fantastic opportunity and honor meeting Mendez at the book signing. He was polite and very open to his fans. We swapped contacts for our Instagram accounts and talked about our roles within the community. I even purchased a book to have him to sign. I believe it's wonderful to have a book written by someone with a disability but to have the book become so widely recognized. Mendez's life story has been recognized in the San Diego Union-Tribune, KUSI, and NBC News.
It was a wonderful day, and I am glad I had the opportunity to meet Coach Rob and hope his success will encourage others to follow their dreams no matter what disability.