In 2018, a video of a young boy walking with crutches down the hallway with his dog went viral. The young boy was Roman Dinkel, and he needed the crutches to walk due to spina bifida.
Spina bifida is a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don’t form properly. Roman was diagnosed with this at birth. Roman’s mother, Whitney Dinkel, created a Facebook page to post videos of Roman, and provide updates on her son’s health. The video of Roman walking down the hallway with their dog, Maggie, blew up instantly.
After seeing the video, Amanda Carlo who is the Manager of Community Outreach and Alumni Relations for the Kansas City Chiefs, reached out to Roman’s family. Carlo arranged for Roman to tour the Chiefs’ facility, and join them at their home opener. Roman got to meet Patrick Mahomes and was gifted an autographed cleat of Travis Kelce’s.
The Chiefs finished 12-4 in 2018. Their season ended one game shy of the Super Bowl in the AFC Championship Game. Coming into 2019, the Chiefs are once again Super Bowl contenders. Mahomes is one of the favorites to win the MVP award. This could be a special season in Kansas City, and they got some early inspiration from a familiar face.
Roman Enters his Empire
Roman has had a busy year. He has led the Chiefs onto the field at Arrowhead Stadium. He has had a day with the Kansas City Royals. And all while becoming a celebrity on the internet. Roman and his family appeared on “GMA Day” in 2018.
“I’m a chiropractor. I actually work with a lot of kids, especially kids with special needs,” Roman’s father, Adam Dinkel said. “And my patients know that and so, they’d walk in and show me this video on their phone … and I’m like, ‘That’s my son!'”
On Friday, all veteran players on the Chiefs began reporting to camp. Practices began on Saturday, and all players arrived a day early to check-in and get ready to begin the 2019 campaign. Another veteran strolled into camp, but he was not wearing pads.
Roman walked out of the tunnel being greeted by the Chiefs’ cheerleaders. If this is not the best thing that you have seen today, then there is something wrong here.
The Chiefs’ All-Pro tight end was a big contributor last season when Roman first arrived. He gifted an autographed cleat and a No. 87 jersey to Roman. When he saw Roman back at camp, Kelce could not contain his excitement.
Kelce finished with a career year in 2018. He had 103 catches for 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns. He finished second among tight ends in receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Kelce received ankle surgery in June, but he entered camp fully healthy and ready to attack the season. With the inspiration of Roman, Kelce could be in for a historic season at the tight end position.
Roman will continue to root on his hometown heroes as they get set for another season. What Roman probably does not know is that he is a hero to more people than the Chiefs. His journey is bigger than football and it is truly amazing to see what he has accomplished.