N.J. Math Teacher and Wife Build Nation’s First Sports Complex for People with Special Needs

TOMS RIVER, N.J.– Math teacher Christian Kane from New Jersey and his wife, Mary, have recently completed their facility, the RWJBarnabas Health Field of Dreams, for children with special needs.

The $3.6 million project was done in honor of their son, Gavin, who suffered a TBI at only 19 months old.

The RWJBarnabas Health Field of Dreams in Toms River took 5 years of planning, including raising the $3.6 million to fund it.

On July 12, 2012, Kane and his son were making a left-hand turn into the Toms River North High School around 9: 30 a.m. when they were hit by a fully loaded beer truck.

Gavin, who had been in the back seat, lost his ability to speak and walk on his own. However, as time passed, the Kanes realized that he could still write, read, add, and multiply.

“He’s Stephen Hawking. That’s what he is,” Kane told Fox News Digital. “He knows what’s going on.”

The project took five years in total including intense money-raising efforts to fund the facility. Last Saturday, the Kane family finally got to see their new baby come to fruition when families from all over the region flooded the field for its grand opening.

“Gavin had the same drive to participate in activities – from playing sports to running around on the playground – like any other child. He wants to be a typical kid. When we started taking Gavin to the playground, we realized there was nothing there for him to use except a red swing. There was no inclusion whatsoever.”

However, the Kane family decided to take matters into their own hands so they could make sure Gavin has the best life possible. What started out as a baseball field kept growing. Today, the Field of Dreams includes the field, a pavilion, basketball court, miniature golf course, trampoline, zip line, bocce court, snack shack, and a walking area circling the entire complex.

There is also an area for children with autism that is designed for quietness and a “thrive station” to help people who are rehabilitating from surgery recovering from chemotherapy.

“It’s a special needs complex for those of any age, of any ability,” he said. “We wanted to build something for everybody so that… a caretaker could bring their loved one and not have to be stared at but also participate.”