It’s easy to grow cynical while following college athletics. However, stories like Washington running back Bishop Sankey and his grandfather are a great reminder of why we love sports.
Grandpa Sankey lost the vision in his left eye 30 years ago. Following a bout of glaucoma, his right eye went blind roughly five years ago.
Albert Sankey was blind to every last one of his grandson’s 1,439 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns as a sophomore a year ago. He has missed his national-best 151.75 average per game this year, as well. That will soon change.
On Sept. 20 he had a cornea transplant in his right eye at UCLA’s Laser Refractive Center and regained his vision.
“I was blind and now I can see,” he said. “It’s a miracle.”
The Montgomery, Ala. native will be in Palo Alto on Saturday to watch his grandson’s undefeated No. 15 Huskies attempt to knock off mighty No. 5 Stanford.
It will be the first time since his grandson was in middle school that Sankey gets to see the superstar running back. The way Grandpa is talking, he may do more than just watch. The 68-year old is ready to strap on the shoulder pads.
“I feel good. I feel like I can get out there and put on a suit (uniform),” Albert Sankey says, belly-laughing through a phone interview this week. “I could be the fullback. I could block for Bishop!”
The younger Sankey, for his part, is pretty pumped up himself.
“I’m pretty excited,” Bishop said Wednesday. “He’ll be there, and it’ll be his first game seeing me in college. I know he’s excited.”
After Grandpa had cooled down a bit, he expressed his actual desire for Saturday, beyond simply watching.
“I can’t wait to hug him,” Grandpa Sankey said, “and see his face.”
Advanced medical science has given a grandfather the chance to watch his kin once again. It will certainly be a special day for the whole family.