From basketball games to soccer games, Mark Moore has been known to be at them all.
Moore, a resident of Rushville since his birth, loves sports. He has been known to be “Rushville’s Super Fan.” After attending his first basketball game with a friend when he was in sixth grade, Moore was hooked.
“I think I was in about sixth grade and my friend Tim came and picked me up,” Moore said. “He was only about 14 at the time and his dad let him take the truck to town and come pick me up and we went to the game. From then I have always loved attending games. I love the atmosphere, the excitement and the close games.”
While Moore loves sports, he has never been able to play them.
“On my third birthday, I jumped off my porch and sprained my left ankle. For two weeks my joint was all swelled up and I couldn’t walk. I even had a rash. My other brought me to town to the doctor and I was told I had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis,” Moore stated. “After that, they said there was nothing they could do for me. I remember for long time after that my dad would carry me around on pillows because it hurt terribly and I couldn’t walk. It was then my great grandma suggested seeing Dr. Donahue in Dublin. The doctor put me on a very high dose of prednisone, a steroid. Seems like the next day I was up riding my tricycle. At this time, I was around five years old.”
With such a high dose of Prednisone, Moore faced new issues.
“I went to another doctor when I was around eight years old and they told me I was on too high of a dose. Over time, the Prednisone had gradually killed my adrenal glands, which helps with growth. I was stuck,” said Moore. “I was three foot something for the rest of my life. After all that, in the meantime when I was about seven years old, I lost my dad in a car accident. I’ve been through a lot in my life and still have to go through tough times.”
With his condition, Moore still gets out and tries to enjoy life, including sports.
“When I can get a ride I go to just about every game I can,” Moore said. “I try to go to all the events. I really like basketball. I like to watch the coaching strategies, the fans; I just really like the excitement. I watch just about all sports and watch them on television too. In the summer, I like to attend TQ races, I really enjoy those. The guys know I can’t walk so they let me get on a four-wheeler and push the cars to the line. The cars don’t have starters so they need help being pushed. So in the summer, I really enjoy helping with that.”
Moore says he also likes to fish and enjoy the woods in his spare time. Not being able to walk makes his past times difficult.
“I haven’t been able to walk at all for eight years now,” Moore stated. “I lost my mom when I was 42 and slowly it just got harder for me to walk. I’m 52 now and still struggle sometimes.”
Moore recalls some of his favorite sporting event moments.
“The basketball team in 1976 adopted me,” Moore laughed. “I got to sit on the bench at their games with them. It was really cool. I got to sit on the bench for the sectional, regional and semistate. I remember a great game in either 1975 or ‘76 where we played Shenendoah and we went into five overtimes and won. That was pretty cool back then. I have been close to a lot of teams over the years. When I was in the hospital a couple years ago, the girls’ varsity team autographed a basketball and gave it to me. It was really nice. I also got to meet Bobby Plump and Mel Daniels, former NBA Pacers players. That was memorable.”
Moore says he enjoys the games, especially meeting new people.
“Every game I go to I meet people,” Moore said. “I always meet new people at every game normally. They just come up and start talking to me. I meet them from all different towns. I enjoy talking with them.”
Contact: Kate Thurston at 765-932-2222, ext. 105