I don't know David apart from a few lines exchanged online.
'This might be my last trip.' With these words, David Hendrix is making a strong statement and sets the tone. David has a rare neuromuscular disorder that affects his ability to control voluntary movements. He wasn't supposed to live past two years yet here were are: David is 31, which is probably more rare than his spinal muscular atrophy type 1 but his condition is getting worse.
I came across David's story on Tyler Nals' Facebook profile who seems to have a special relationship with him.
I recently exchanged a bit with Tyler as he invited me to join him at his MGM Grand Meet Up Cash Game night in Las Vegas in late June.
This is what Tyler wrote about David and what motivated me to get in touch:
If you're not familiar with David, he has a rare genetic neuromuscular disorder that affects the nerve cells that control voluntary muscles. He wasn't supposed to live past two years old, but David--now 31--is even more rare than than Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1.
How do I know David is rare? A few reasons...
1. I watched him battle for 12 hours in Tunica with blood on his elbows. He wasn't supposed to do that, but he loves the game so much that he pressed on. It was at that instant, I know we would get along.
2. This guy's heart is as pure as they come. He tells me, "I love you, bro" and genuinely means it! To put this in perspective, I might be friendly to everyone, but I sure as hell ain't easy to love. David is so full of love and goodness that it's impossible not to love him back.
David is also so authentic that he completely accepts me for who I am. I remember him asking me to fix his hat, so I lowered it below his eyes for a few seconds so he couldn't see--this is what friends do. He said, "Tyler! Come on, man!" Was this mean? Hell no! It was love. When he asked me for bottled water, I got him sparkling water. He laughed his ass off and couldn't get over it. It's just so easy to be your natural self around him.
He told me that day, "You treat me just like you would anyone else, and I love that!"
So, we bonded very quickly. Whenever he asks me to hang out, I'm there in an instant, even though he told me to enter his hotel room as his grandmother got out of the shower and not to worry about it--he can also play jokes.
3. His love for the game of poker is unparalleled, but he never takes himself too seriously. He is incredibly down to earth and he treats everyone with respect and is a really fun dude. The combination of taking the game seriously and down to earth isn't that easy to find.
When he wrote to me this morning, "This might be my last trip," my heart sank. Contrary to what people might think, I only talk to three people in the poker world on a somewhat regular basis, and David is one of them. Therefore, he is one of my best friends and he always will be. And he's probably one of the best people I will ever know.
Whether you know David or not, please consider helping him achieve his life-long dream, which is to go to Las Vegas to play in the WSOP. We have some pretty good momentum so far, and if even half the people reading this here helped a little, we could close it out and lock up his dream. You can donate as little or as much as you want, and you can be anonymous if you want.
I edited this more than a dozen times. I feel like no matter what I write, I'm not doing David justice. For more information, you can read his article in the link below.
Thanks for considering being a part of David's dream!
Long story short, I'll be traveling as a reporter and player to the WSOP from late May to August. Through the solidarity section of this blog, I like to encourage members of the Poker community to be less self-centered and I decided to relay his GoFundMe project after asking for David's permission. I am also hoping to throw in some nice souvenir photos of him when he'll be playing the WSOP. I'm writing 'when' not 'if' because I'm certain we can make this happen.
You can help make David's dream come true via THIS LINK.
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