By Delinda Lombardo on
Mike Adams has been called ‘quietly breathtaking’ and a man with a big heart, and as an Ambassador for Operation Smile, the MLB pitcher has captured the attention of many after he became a ‘hidden hero’ by helping one young boy get his smile back.
As Operation Smile celebrates 30 years of smile making, it was with great pleasure that Look to the Stars spoke with the newly signed Phillies pitcher about his involvement with Operation Smile and life off the baseball field.
You recently appeared in a segment on the Ricky Lake show where you were recognized for helping Joshua, a three-year-old boy born with a cleft lip, find the right doctor to repair his problem. You spotted him at the mall, were you there as an Ambassador for Operation Smile or just shopping?
We were there on a normal visit, getting some holiday photos done at a photo studio and as we were waiting, out walks Joshua and we just went up to him and his family and started speaking to him.
As a celebrity and Operation Smile ambassador, it’s easy for you to approach someone and offer help, but how would the ‘average’ person approach a stranger and offer help?
There is a fine line anytime you approach someone especially with this condition – the families are used to people staring at them – you go into it carefully, you introduce yourself, let them know who you are and hopefully they accept it. It’s a little bit of an iffy situation at first but hopefully they know you’re just trying to help and they take the good out of it.
Sometimes cleft issues take multiple surgeries to repair; do you know why it’s so difficult?
Honestly, I really don’t know. A lot of times it has to do with probably the surgeon and there are certain procedures that have to be followed afterward for it to heal properly and a lot of times for young kids its hard for them because they are told sometimes not to open their mouth, not to cry, not to do this or that and its hard for a young child to go through this stuff.
A lot of focus is on helping the children, but what about parents in this situation, what advice would you give them as someone who has gone through it?
My little boy was born with a cleft lip and we’ve gone through the process and know what parents feel who are going through this situation, and it’s not as bad as it seems. When we first found out about our little boy, it was pretty devastating, you want that perfect kid but you are still going to love your child no matter what. There is nothing that can separate that bond between parent and child and its not as serious as other deformities, there is a process to correct this stuff. It’s truly not the end of the world, it will be fine.
Are there any support groups for parents?
Not that I know of. We found out when my wife had a sonogram and the hospital prepared us for it. That was the support group we had at the time, they let us know everything that could possibly go wrong or go right, they gave us as much information as possible, then we reached out to Operation Smile and they sat us down and told us about it.
You are very humble about helping others, are you comfortable with the attention you are getting for your involvement with Operation Smile?
That’s kind of what I’ve always been about, I’ll always try to help people out no matter what the situation is. My involvement with Operation Smile has taken it to another level and yeah, I’m getting noticed a little bit more, which is good, because whether its helping someone through a hard time or with Operation Smile, bringing a smile to a child’s face, or an adults face makes it all worthwhile.
Was there any particular incident that sparked your interest in helping others?
When I was about nine years old I looked up to a certain baseball player and when I asked him for an autograph he got kind of smart with me, it really made me upset, so I told myself then – even though I didn’t know I’d be a pro-baseball player – I told myself I will never be that person, I’ll always try to give my time if I can and I will always try to keep a smile on a kids face.
What would you do to ask your fans to help?
Just make a difference in someone’s life, become part of Operation Smile or another organization. Whether its one person or a thousand people, just make a difference. Anytime you can do that and help somebody out, it’ll come back and life will treat you the way you wanted to be treated.
And finally, if you had a theme song, what would it be?
LOL I don’t know, but ‘Intro’ by DMX is played when I take the field, I like the beat.
Look to the Stars would like to thank Mike Adams for taking time out of his busy schedule to create a few more smiles today.
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