Every school or town has one. A kid who has overcome significant challenges, defied the odds and won the hearts of his team, town, school, classmates. For Plano Senior High School that kid was Richie Herskowitz. Born with cystic fibrosis, Richie underwent a double lung transplant at age six. Confined to a wheelchair and using a breathing tube Richie did not let those things slow him down, in fact he barely acknowledged their existence.
Richie played a major part in Plano Senior High’s athletics department, the school’s basketball coach said.
“He kind of humbles you because you start thinking of all these stupid things that we worry about,” coach Tom Inman said. “He made us all realize how dare you complain about something stupid. He always said he was doing great.”
Jordan Herskowitz agreed that his brother gave others a better perspective on life. “I think any human, and I speak personally, when we are confronted with a challenge, we ask, ‘Why me.’ I never heard him say those things to me or anyone. He never argued or wanted people to feel sorry for him. He just longed to be that normal guy,” he said.
“He was never worried about tomorrow because what’s the point if you have right now? That was his motto, and he stuck by it. Even in these last couple of weeks when it started to be a struggle, he didn’t talk about it.”
The Princess has had classes with Richie on and off since middle school. All the kids love him dearly. His love of sports led him to be named team manager for the Wildcat basketball team and he was planning on attending Southern Methodist University next year, majoring in sports marketing.
Richie Herskowitz was 17 years old, a senior at Plano Senior High School and a beloved member of the Class of 2008. He passed away this week, succumbing to his illness, but strong to the end. Services were held today at the Congregation Shearith Israel with a large number of the PSHS senior class in attendance.
Tonight Richie is unbound. No longer a prisoner of his failing body. Breathing easy. Rest in peace Richie. Nishmato b’Eden