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Former MMA Fighter And Boy With Down Syndrome Become Gym BFFs

Friendships form in unlikely places sometimes, and when they do, they’re pure magic!

To former MMA fighter and current personal trainer Sammy Callari, 13-year-old Parker Seward is more than just his client and even more than a friend – he’s his “little bro.”

A Friendship Was Born

The duo from Naples, Florida met a year ago when Sammy was asked to train the 13-year-old Parker. While Sammy is usually quick to accept new clients, he hesitated slightly because he had no experience working with people who have disabilities, and Parker has down syndrome.

Sammy was a little nervous for their first appointment, but boy was he glad when he met Parker and learned how incredible he was!


CBS News

“Everything just clicked from day one,” said Sammy.

They Work Out Together All The Time

The pair has continued to train together since last spring, and their sessions have become more than just workouts for both of them. For the young Parker, it’s an opportunity to hang out with his “big bro.”

In between exercises, the two horse around and joke with each other and both have beaming smiles on when they’re together.


Naples News

Sammy says that they have more in common than most people might think. “I have always had an underdog mentality of people counting me out and saying I couldn’t do something,” he said. “I almost look at him like he’s an underdog, and he can take a lot of the lessons we’ve learned from everyday life and in our gym sessions, and that will help him build a solid foundation as he becomes a young man.”

He’s A Great Kid

From Parker’s perspective, he’s just like every other 13-year-old boy. He loves mac and cheese, Lebron James, and has a great sense of humor. He even nicknamed Sammy “Luke Bryan” because that’s who he thinks he looks like.

“I want to grow up and be a policeman and pull Sammy over,” Parker said, a joke that he’s apparently shared before but one that never ceases to be funny!


Naples News

“He can do the same things that any other little boy or girl can do,” Callari said, “I think just by showing that he can do it in the gym and in our daily life, that it can give (others) the motivation that, ‘Hey, if Parker can do this, why can’t I?’”

Parker’s story is definitely an inspiring one, and it’s incredible to see such a great friendship formed where it might have seemed unlikely!

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