Daily News staff report

Colorado BBQ Challenge celebrates Father’s Day essay winner

Once again this year, Frisco’s Colorado BBQ Challenge sponsored a contest to find the dad most deserving of a chance to kick back during the 21st annual event and enjoy someone else’s barbecue.

To enter the BBQ Challenge’s Father’s Day contest, offspring, young or old, had to submit a short essay detailing why their dad was worthy of a free barbecue-filled weekend in Frisco, including lodging for two nights, $100 in Hog Backs, the festival’s currency, and two tickets to Friday night’s Rub It, Smoke It, Sip It Whiskey Tour.

The winning essay, submitted by Madison and Sophie Lytle, is as follows:

‘The Best Dad Ever’

If anyone deserves a weekend at the Frisco BBQ, it is Michael Lytle, our father. He has been through so much and at the same time has provided us with unconditional love. Through thick and thin, he has always been there for us.

Knees are not my dad’s best friend. He has torn his ACL in both knees multiple times. Recently, he went to the hospital for his eighth knee surgery. He was only supposed to be getting a four-hour surgery. That quickly turned into seven. A delay did not seem that bad, but little did we know, that was only the beginning of our problems. The doctor told us that our dad was in a lot of pain and had to spend the night. In the morning, our family was informed that he had developed Rhabdomyloysis, a condition which shut down his kidneys. Along with that, he was in serious pain and under a lot of medication. There were so many doctors working with him that we couldn’t even go to see him.

Then, professionals discovered that he also had compartment syndrome. To make a long story short, he was in the hospital for 10 days and needed another surgery called a fasciotomy to relieve the pressure in his thigh. His nerves were crushed in the process. He had no feeling in his left foot and little in his lower leg. Occasionally, he felt twinges of pain shoot through his body. Nerve damage is a slow and painful process to recover from. Our dad was finally allowed freedom from the hospital. We rented a hospital bed so my dad could live in the living room of our house when he came home. To this day, he is still in pain, but he will most likely be able to walk by the time of the BBQ.

Even with many disabilities, our father continued to amaze us. He worked from his bed (as a real estate agent). He helped us do our homework. Most important of all, he gave us love. He is one of the strongest and kindest people I know. He would be in excruciating pain but would hide it while we were around. He gave us his whole heart, and he always has. Our dad is also very passionate about biking and skiing. He has not been able to do either. One thing he wants more than anything would be to go skiing with his whole family. The BBQ would allow us to be together some more. He is always there for us, no matter what, and we love him more than the world. Some other kids always complain about their parents and how much they dislike their families, but for us, family is our life and our parents are the most amazing people on earth.

Another reason our dad should get to go to the BBQ, is that he loves it. He is an amazing griller and loves times when everyone can just come together and have fun. We usually have our own neighborhood BBQ at our house every year. It is great to have everyone celebrate summer. This year, that will not likely happen.

In conclusion, my dad has been through so much but continues to be the greatest father the world has ever seen. Our hard times have brought us tears, but they have also brought us closer to our mentor. If there was one person who needed the BBQ the most, it is our amazing dad.

Thank you for considering him,

— Madison and Sophie Lytle


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The Summit Daily Updated Jun 18, 2014 01:08PM Published Jun 14, 2014 09:00PM Copyright 2014 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.