How Firm Thy Friendship

On April 4, 2012 by Grant Edgell


Editor’s Note: How Firm Thy Friendship was originally published at Buckeye House Call on 04 April 2012.

Boone David Shoewalter was born November 12, 2002 after a very normal pregnancy and delivery. Hiding beneath this beautiful young man’s appearance was a very rare genetic condition called Urea Cycle Disorder. With no visible symptoms or signs – he was taken home.

After just a few hours in his new house, with his new family, Boone began having dangerous symptoms. A very scary five days at Children’s Hospital would follow before his family would learn of his disorder. During this brief amount of time Boone would suffer through seizures, a stroke and ultimately lapsed into a temporary coma – the combination of which caused a traumatic brain injury.

In the midst of the amazing, never-ending assistance from the doctors and nurses of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital the family was told that Boone’s only lifeline would be through a liver transplant. He was put on the donor recipient list and in September of 2003 the young fighter was given the Gift of Life.

Just ten days after receiving this gift, Boone suffered his first moment of organ rejection. The doctors and nurses once again came to his side and, once resolved, Boone was on his way home. Again.

As we sit here now in 2012 this young man has fought his way through more rejections – more needles – more tests – yet he’s been a rock for his family as they sit for days waiting on results. A number of hospitalizations later Boone has been rejection-free since June of 2005. He uses a wheelchair for getting where he wants to go, and employs the use of a G-Tube when it’s time to eat. He’s a very verbal young man and his laugh is contagious. He’s an intensely focused fan when the Buckeyes or Reds are on his TV – a fighter – a warrior – a personal inspiration – and the focus of many, many people in Central Ohio. He’s also my only nephew.

His immediate family did receive a gift years ago from Make-A-Wish Foundation. They chose an enclosed deck so Boone could play freely and independently like other kids do. With his grandpa putting together the blueprints, many friends and family came together to help them build it. Then 2011 came and they realized they would need help once again, which isn’t an easy decision to make for a family who works so damn hard “on and off the field.”

Plans for a first-annual “Birdies for Boonie” golf tournament were put into motion, with the help of an incredible amount of people, and their prayers were answered.

With this benefit outing they were fortunate enough to be put into a position to: purchase medical supplies Boone needs, payoff a portion of his medical bills, get a Boone-friendly swing, feeding chair and most importantly – a van that is handicap accessible. They couldn’t begin to express their gratitude towards those that came out and were a part of that special day – but they’ve made every effort to do so. They do, however, still need assistance.

On July 28th of this year they will be holding the Second Annual Birdies for Boonie Golf Benefit, an event which will assist to bring in funds from which 100% of the proceeds are used for the direct care and medical bills of Boone. As his uncle, I’m ready to beat the drum with the hopes that Buckeye Nation will lend me a hand.

With this year’s benefit they hope to be able to accomplish the following, plus some:

– Wider doorways in their home to allow Boone’s wheelchair and walker to fit through so he can roam freely throughout his own house.
– A handicap accessible bathroom.
– additional customization for the van to complete it’s handicap accessible features.

My goal is to raise a somewhat modest $1,000 through the blog to contribute to his cause as I continue to save over the next few months to try and personally make it $2,000. I’m not sure I’ll reach it on my own – or with your help – but I’ve been fortunate enough to meet many wonderful people through the blog that I wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to meet. “How Firm Thy Friendship” has never held more weight than it has over the period of time since becoming an Ohio State blogger. So I ask.

If you wish to make a monetary donation, however big or small that may be, you can do so through the Donate button below . If instead you wish to donate (or have access to) something that can be silent auctioned during the golf outing, please contact me at or contact Amanda Fuller here and let her know you’re a Buckeye Empire reader.

I’m thinkin’ we might just be able to make this happen.

From the bottom of my Buckeye-lovin’ heart – Thank You.



  1. […] On another note, we here at the Empire are not without compassion in our hearts, which is why we’ve decided to promote the Birdies for Boonies Fundraiser and Golf Extravaganza. As you can see from the right side of the page, Ryan and JR will be there in full regalia, trying to deftly hit golf balls in full uniform. To read more about the fundraiser and Boonie himself, take a few minutes to digest the backstory. […]

  2. […] Please read the initial article on the event here. […]

  3. […] old son. That family, the Shoewalters, have spent nine years raising a young man named Boone who had some setbacks with his health from the very moment he came into this […]

  4. […] old son. That family, the Shoewalters, have spent nine years raising a young man named Boone who had some setbacks with his health from the very moment he came into this […]