8-year-old Blake Smith's day starts just like everyone else's, by getting out of bed. It just takes him a few extra steps.
The ventilator that is attached to his tracheal tube has to be removed, something he can now do on his own. A machine sitting next to his bed helps his breathing overnight. Then it's a series of tubes, machines and devices all designed to help Blake breathe on his own throughout the day. Moving around isn't easy either, his feet and legs aren't strong enough to totally support his body. But over the years he's worked hard to gain independence and mobility.
He no longer needs a wheelchair. It was a major milestone for the Smith family who have been searching for one answer Blake's whole life: What caused his body to be like this?
Hundreds of doctors visits across the country and still no answer. Blake falls into a small category of people who are considered to have "undiagnosed conditions." Despite this inconclusive result, Blake lives a happy life.
This year, in addition to continuing to run races with his dad Chad across the country, Blake has connected to a new sport -- hockey. And I'm sure you can guess the team he's rooting for: Vegas Golden Knights.
As Blake continued to get stronger and succeed in his life, so did the Knights in its inaugural season, surpassing all expectations and reaching the Stanley Cup Final. Much like how Blake wasn't expected to be able to walk or talk or do many everyday activities on his own, he is also proving many people wrong. Something the two can be proud to have in common.