Nate Cummings Thrives As Manager Of Nixa’s Team
NIXA, Mo. (KY3) – Friday Night Football. In Nixa, it’s easy to see the hard work of the football team to win another game.
But if you look closely enough, you might see the dedicated, determined and diligent work on the sidelines of team leaders like Nate Cummings.
“We couldn’t be more proud of him,” said Nate’s father, Kevin Cummings. “He surprises us every day.
But the first day was anything but amazing for Nate who was abandoned at birth at Mercy Hospital. As fate intended, this bouncy little boy caught the attention of a NIC-U nurse.
“The birth mother did not have antenatal care,” said Nate’s mother Lynette. “He was born in the ambulance. I’m just looking at this skinny little four-pound-one ounce baby that needed to grow in his nose. And I look at him and I’m like, just thinking, I feel like he needs us.
Lynette and Kevin were then thinking of becoming foster parents. They knew they had more love to give.
“Kevin and I had lost our own son prematurely seven years ago,” said Lynette. “There has always been this hole. And then I think to myself, maybe we need him as much as he needs us.
Lynette has applied for adoption for the first time. She left out the part about being a nurse in the N-ICU; she didn’t want it to become a factor.
“I’m just talking (at the hospital) about our family,” Lynette said, “and our daughters, they were 14 and nine at the time. And she chose our letter.
The family of four was now five. But over the months, these parents have seen their son miss milestones. At 18 months, they learned why.
“We had her diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome,” said Lynette, “and it was a shock.”
“They said 80% probably wouldn’t leave the house,” Kevin said. “You know, they’ll be in jail. It was just a blow. But we decided to focus on that 20% and say, you know, he can be whatever he wants to be.
The Cummings flooded Nate with love, therapy, and classes. They even uprooted their families.
“We specifically moved here for the Nixa special education program,” Lynette said.
Over the years, Nate has been diagnosed with autism, diagnosed with anxiety, and diagnosed with ADHD, all due to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
“It’s permanent brain damage when you have fetal alcohol syndrome,” Lynette said, “so you won’t grow back.”
“To all the pregnant women out there,” Kevin said, “please don’t drink. Please don’t do drugs. We are very lucky with Nate. But there might be others who might not be so lucky, but (fetal alcohol syndrome) is something that is preventable.
Focused on his future, Nate made huge strides at Nixa, but the boy in love with John Deere needed one more thing – just to be one of the boys.
“(When Nate was) in college, I was like ‘how do we get this kid out more with his peers,” Lynette said. “And I thought, ‘Basketball! ” He likes sports.
It started with the management of basketball, then came football and finally baseball.
“Even though we suffered a loss or were down in the game,” said Nixa baseball player Sam Russo, “he was always there to cheer us up, no matter what.”
“When I got replaced by the game,” said Jackson Bell, Nixa’s basketball and baseball player, “Nate always had water, a towel and a punch.”
“It’s great for her self-esteem and great for her self-confidence,” said Lynette.
Nate is a three sports student coach for the Nixa Eagles. He never misses a practice or a game from August to June.
“It’s a blessing,” said Jaret Nelson, Nixa’s baseball and basketball player. “Because sometimes when you’re playing and you’re in the thick of it, it’s often negative. And you see Nate and that makes things so much better.
We have this 16 year old who has a girlfriend and he’s nice to the players, ”said Lynette. “An extraordinary young man who exceeded our expectations. “
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