Feet for Finn: Veterans goalie shares special bond with child battling heart defects
WARNER ROBINS, Ga. -- Victoria Moore has been a catalyst for the Veterans' girls soccer team this season as the Warhawks' starting goalie. She's helped lead the team to an unbeaten record so far this season, as well as a region championship.
She has a bit of an unusual pre-game ritual.
Before every game this season, Moore writes various inspirational quotes on her feet. These quotes aren't to get her pumped up for games, but rather to show support for a child that she only knew through Facebook.
About two years ago, Moore found the Facebook page "Prayers for Finn," a page giving updates and sharing stories about Finn Blumenthal. Blumenthal is a 3-year-old boy in Fredericksburg, Va. who suffers from multiple heart defects and has undergone 14 different procedures and surgeries.
"I saw that he needed to have heart surgery, and that's when I was like 'I want to be able to do something, I want to show my support,'" Moore said. "Because he's inspired me so much, and then I just wanted to do this for him and show my support."
Moore posted pictures of her quote-filled feet to the Facebook page, which caught the attention of Finn's mother Kelly.
"I thought it was really inspirational, especially because she is a high school student," Blumenthal said. "Having a high schooler actually draw so much inspiration from Finn's journey has been very inspirational for us in return."
Kelly Blumenthal reached out to Victoria through the Facebook page, and the two developed a very close relationship over the last few months.
Moore wanted the family to come down for her high school graduation in May, but the Blumenthals weren't able to make that trip during Memorial Day weekend.
So they did the next best thing. Kelly and Finn flew down on Tuesday to surprise Moore for her senior night game against Warner Robins.
Moore stood in the middle of Freedom Field, expecting to be awarded an unnamed senior honor from her team. What she got instead blew her away.
"I just wanted to start crying, I was so happy," Moore said.
After inspiring each other for over a year through Facebook, Moore and Finn were finally able to meet face-to-face and give each other a hug for the first time.
"It's honestly a dream come true, just because she's been so inspirational for us," Kelly Blumenthal said. "The flight is totally worth it just to give her a hug and say, 'Thank you for you,' because that's what's inspiring us and we really appreciate it."
After her high school career ends, Moore will play for Georgia Southwestern State University next year. She says she will continue to write quotes for Finn on her feet before every game.