A Comprehensive Cerebral Palsy Resource

Jake Garza – Mr. Handsome!

Story written by: Demetrius Mason

Eric and Jake Garza

Eric Garza serves in the United States Coast Guard as a marine science technician. His job requires him to investigate marine spills and mitigate pollution threats. He is a true patriot—just look at the American flag tattoo that envelopes the upper half of his right arm.

However, Eric is a father first and a proud one at that!

His five-year-old son, Jake (AKA “Mr. Handsom”), was born prematurely and diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He attends kindergarten at Sexton Elementary School in St. Petersburg where his teachers and dedicated support aide, Cheryl Cunningham, work with Jake to improve his speech, which typically consists of one-word sentences.

One day as Eric and Taylor, his wife and Jake’s stepmom, were enjoying some family time, Jake began speaking. More specifically, he started reciting. Taylor told her husband to get his camera to record, which he did.

With that infectious smile, Mr. Handsome began to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, melting his father’s heart.

According to Eric’s Facebook post, “Captain America! Balled my eyes out. I had no idea he could say the Pledge of Allegiance. So proud of Jake and for his assistant that helped him learn it! America Baby!”

In an interview with KSDK, Taylor said that “His mom would be proud,” referring to Jake’s birthmother, Holly Garza, who passed away from cervical cancer.

Eric, Taylor and of course, Mr. Handsome, you are an inspiration to us all.