DALLAS - This week was a big one for FOX 4 traffic reporter Chip Waggoner and his family. His son became an Eagle Scout. But it wasn't easy for him to earn the prestigious title.
Benjamin Waggoner said he's waited for years to be named an Eagle Scout.
"I've been through a lot in my life. I think few would expect to see something like this in existence... a kid in a wheelchair an Eagle Scout," he said.
Benjamin's mom and dad were right by his side as he earned the award, just like they've always been.
"He's inspiring. I know, I'm dad. I'm biased. But he's an exquisite light, unbelievably unique and when he comes into a room, he lights it up," Chip said.
It's been a long journey for the Waggoner family. Before Benjamin was born, Chip's wife Wendy learned the baby boy she was carrying wasn't developing as planned. Some people suggested she terminate the pregnancy.
"I remember thinking for 1/10th of one second, yes this is what we should do. And it’s like, wait a minute. Who’s in control here? God’s in control. God said he’s going to strengthen us and help us, uphold us with his righteous right hand. He’s going to take something, in control of everything. And if he’s in control of everything, he’s got a plan. And I have to trust that plan,” Chip said.
“It was our first child so we didn’t really know. It was our normal. But it was kinda scary because we haven’t had anyone in either one of our families that have had any kind of challenges like that,” Wendy said.
Even with all the worry, Benjamin’s birth was a beautiful moment.
“We did get to have a brief moment with him, hold him as best we could given the circumstances,” Chip said.
Benjamin was then immediately brought into surgery, the first of about 20 that he’s had in his lifetime.
He was born with a rare form of spina bifida. His spinal column is also tethered, causing him limited sensation in his lower body.
But he has exceeded his doctors’ expectations time and time again. In his world, if he faces a challenge, he figures out a way to conquer it.
That’s how he approached the requirements for his Eagle Scout award. For his Eagle project, he raised the funds and built a nine-hole Frisbee golf course at Camp John Mark, a camp that specializes in helping children with unique medical and physical challenges.
Chip has been a part of the FOX 4 family warning viewers about traffic trouble spots for 22 years. He has spent many nights on hospital cots, working split shifts at FOX 4 with little or no sleep. Still, he often has a smile on his face.
When meeting Benjamin, it’s easy to see his sweet, silly side, just like his dad. The two often turn to laughter to get through all the challenges of life.
“The scout motto being prepared is the biggest thing I’ve learned from scouting because it has applied to my life so much,” Benjamin said.
“He deserves every bit of this celebration. He is so worthy of being marked for this distinction and I can’t wait to see who he gets to inspire next,” Chip said.
The Waggoners are reminding people that life is a miracle and some moments are so so precious.