No words needed: Nonverbal child forms unique bond with mascot

RALEIGH, N.C. (WPVI) -- It all started at an N.C. State women's basketball game in November 2014, when Grayson Ketchie was 3 years old.

WTVD-TV reports, Grayson was fussy, so his parents brought him into the hallway and that's where a friendship sparked.

Gus Camille, a former Ms. Wuf, was dressed in costume that day.

Grayson, who was adopted at birth, was born prematurely, is non-verbal and is considered medically fragile. As a baby, his parents tried to communicate with him by teaching him sign language. It wasn't until that Friday night at Reynolds Coliseum when Grayson communicated for the first time.

After the game was over, he signed "more." He wanted more Ms. Wuf.

From that day, the two have become best friends -- even without speaking.

"For two people that didn't talk to each other, Grayson and Ms. Wuf had an instant connection," Camille said. "It was just easy."

It's not just Ms. Wuf that Grayson has connected with. It's Camille outside of her costume, it's the volleyball team, the basketball team; anyone he meets.

Camille said Grayson knew who she was even outside of costume. She said she can't explain it but he just knew.

Camille visits Grayson in the hospital and even joined the family on their Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World this summer.
The volleyball team has been to Grayson's house to visit with him.

"He gives us more than we could ever give him," said N.C. State volleyball coach Linda Hampton-Keith.

"Always fighting, never alone" is an N.C. State motto that Grayson lives by as he continues to fight for his life.

This Thanksgiving, the Ketchie family said they are thankful to N.C. State athletics for realizing the importance of creating connections outside of the game.


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