SHADYSIDE - Spencer Lay, a 12 year-old from Shadyside, will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet his hero Neal McCoy.
McCoy is a staple at Jamboree in the Hills and will perform on Sunday night. For the Lay household, watching McCoy has become a staple as well.
Jennifer Lay, Spencer's mother, said that Spencer loves watching McCoy perform and will even try to play and sing along.
"For whatever reason, Spencer just clicked with (McCoy)," said Jennifer. "Spencer doesn't do that with just anyone."
Spencer is not like most 12-year-old boys. He has a rare gentic disease that is unknown to many. This has caused Spencer many different birth defects, developmental delays and health issues, but yet he has not let this stop him.
"Spencer is always pulling to be like everyone else and he has a drive to do it, whether he has to try to do something 50 times just to get it right once," said Jennifer. "Music makes Spencer feel normal."
According to Jennifer, the doctors told her family to enjoy him while they can and that was 12 years ago. In those 12 years, Spencer has undergone close to 30 surgeries to correct medical issues that keep arising.
Jennifer also stated that he has trouble speaking and difficulty with his hands.
It was when Jennifer's post on Facebook started to circulate that Spencer wanted to meet Neal McCoy that it became a reality. It was Friday afternoon that Spencer received a phone call from McCoy himself, stating that Spencer will get the chance to meet him on Sunday.
"Spencer was overwhelmed and excited when (McCoy) called," said Jennifer. "I think our family is just grateful that the whole valley pulled together and it reminds us how wonderful the valley is to live in."
Van Dyne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.