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During a visit to Montford Middle School in Tallahassee on Tuesday, Florida State wide receiver Travis Rudolph brightened the day of a sixth-grader.
Rudolph, who was visiting the school with teammates, noticed one student, Bo Paske, sitting alone at a lunch table. In a Facebook post, Paske’s mother said Rudolph joined her son, who has autism. Leah Paske shared a photo of the two.
In her Facebook post, Leah Paske said she did not know who Rudolph was before his generous act Tuesday. Now that she does, she said she and her family are now “fans for life.”
“I’m not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son, but I’m happy to say that it will not soon be forgotten,” she wrote. “This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes.”
Her post, in part, reads:
“I do remember middle school being scary, and hard. Now that I have a child starting middle school, I have feelings of anxiety for him, and they can be overwhelming if I let them. Sometimes I’m grateful for his autism. That may sound like a terrible thing to say, but in some ways I think, I hope, it shields him. He doesn’t seem to notice when people stare at him when he flaps his hands. He doesn’t seem to notice that he doesn’t get invited to birthday parties anymore. And he doesn’t seem to mind if he eats lunch alone.”
“It’s one of my daily questions for him. Was there a time today you felt sad? Who did you eat lunch with today? Sometimes the answer is a classmate, but most days it’s nobody. Those are the days I feel sad for him, but he doesn’t seem to mind.
“He is a super sweet child, who always has a smile and hug for everyone he meets. A friend of mine sent this beautiful picture to me today and when I saw it with the caption “Travis Rudolph is eating lunch with your son” I replied “who is that?” He said “FSU football player”, then I had tears streaming down my face.”
Rudolph, a junior from West Palm Beach, Florida, was the Seminoles’ top receiver in 2015. He totaled 59 catches for 916 yards and seven touchdowns.
FSU opens its season on Monday against Ole Miss in Orlando.
For more Florida State news, visit Warchant.com.
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