‘The longest-serving athlete’: Pioneering Special Olympian dies

CHICAGO – When Michael “Moose” Cusack was born in the Chicago Lying-in Hospital in 1956, doctors told his parents that something was wrong — he had Down syndrome. They advised: don’t bring him home. It was better to institutionalize him early, his parents were told. John and Esther Cusack’s first step toward challenging the status quo was bringing their son home. They raised him, loved him and nurtured him the same as his four sisters. Their support allowed Moose to become a champion. As a 12-year-old, he competed at Soldier Field with a thousand other athletes, some swimming in an above groun…

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