LAFAYETTE, La. — “I think they're my angels pretty much, for sure,” says Lane Wiley. “I watch 'em struggle and then pick themselves up, and I try to apply that to what I'm going through.”
Born with only one hand and one leg, and only four fingers on his 'good hand', Lafayette's Lane Wiley has been an unofficial team member of the Ragin' Cajuns golf team for about three years.
A former golfer himself, Wiley was introduced to UL Head Coach Theo Sliman who invited him to a team practice, and the mutual inspiration society was created.
“It's a great inspiration to the team and the bond they have made over the past three years is pretty special to observe.”
It's once a week that the 49-year old Wiley shows up for UL golf practice. Being around the Ragin Cajuns gives him hope at a time when the pain and ever-increasing health issues have begun to take their collective toll.
“I've been trying to fix my leg for 20 years, it's trouble after trouble and this is, the first time I've felt really supported and uplifted,” explains Wiley.
And there was another problem--- just getting to practice in Wiley's 1993 automobile. was becoming an adventure.
“I've had trouble with my car over here, and not starting; it's gotten kind of scary and I’ve got duct tape on my car and it’s gotten kind of scary holding the antenna up. I'm blow away.”
Here's why he was blown away. Last Friday at a team get together at Oakbourne Country Club, Wiley and the Cajuns stepped outside only to discover an amazing gift from the team to him. That gift? A new car.
“I’m just blown away about how wonderful. thought they were awesome and they're even more. Whew!”
The gift was the idea UL fundraising guru Gerald Hebert, but the players themselves raised a good bit of the money all on their own. Fittingly, the color is just perfect.
“Exactly. I'll take Ragin Cajun red for sure, man; that's awesome,” smiles Wiley.
Wiley says it's great that there are still good people willing to help others. But the fact that this tremendous gesture comes from his extended family members, his angels on the UL golf team?
“I'm just blown away about how wonderful,” adds Wiley. “I thought they were awesome and they're even more.”
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