Brian's journey to the Paralympics
When Brian was born he was completely unresponsive and as blue as a pair of jeans, the umbilical cord wrapped tightly four times around his neck, weighing less than five pounds, with his legs obviously not normal. We found out later that he was born with Bilateral Tibial Hemamelia which is the absence of the Tibia in both legs. Initially we were devastated however as little as he was he soon showed us that he was fighter and he was here to make a difference.
We made the extremely difficult decision, to amputate his limbs above the knee so that he would have the opportunity to be fitted with prosthetics as well as to be able to walk on his residual limbs.
He was fitted was first pair of prosthetic legs before his first birthday and for ten years we travelled to Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Tampa to change his legs at no cost to us. Brian has never looked back.
Brian has become an inspirational eleven year old. He is mature beyond his years and continues not to be swayed by the challenges he has faced in his life. Brian not only excels academically but his thirst for knowledge is inspiring and his enthusiasm for learning is contagious. He encourages, and is encouraged by, his peers to go above beyond in all facets of life.
Brian is determined to move beyond his challenges and pursue anything he put his mind to. Over time that has led to a passion for athletics, specifically swimming and running and he has dreams of someday competing in the Paralympics.
In January 2014, Brian completed the St. Anthony’s Knights of Columbus 5K 4 Kids by alternating between running on his ‘stubbies’ and pushing himself in a wheelchair. His determination to give back to the Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center, and raise awareness for the issues faced by other children,
took precedence over his nerves and discomfort. Following the race, when asked about his future by a reporter, Brian indicated that the most important thing to him in life is to one day have the ability to care for his mother and sister.
We were blessed when out of that race Brian was awarded a grant of $1500 from the Challenged Athletes Foundation which we used since then to to cover all swim fees. challengedathletes.org Last summer we were also invited by CAF to participate in the San Diego Triathalon. It was an amazg experience for Brian as he got to interact with other double amputees who are also Paralympians.
Brian was able to swim his first open water long distance event. He swam a half mile in less than twenty-five minutes.
In addition Brian was given his first pair of running blades and a new pair of prosthetic legs from which enable him to be much more active from Amputee Blade Runners a non-profit organization based in Nashville, Tennesee. amputeebladerunners.com
In order for Brian to take any serious steps towards realizing his dream of participating in the Paralympics in swimming and track we have to start taking part in official paralympic meets and increase his training as well as get some specialized training. This will be an ongoing and costly process and although we are confident that in the near future Brian will have the opportunity for sponsorship in the meantime we have to take the first steps. This is why we have decided to reach out to anyone who can to donate towards Brian's journey, to share his story, to follow his story and to give him positive encouragement as he starts his journey to the Paralympics......his journey to Gold
This is link to the endeavour games copming up in June:
Following is a link to all of the scheduled Paralympic events for this year:
7431 NW 33rd Street
Lauderhill, FL 33319
For reference inquiries contact:
Children’s Diagnostic and Treatment Center Director of Development
This year Brian's times in his swimming events have qualified him to be able to compete at the US Paralympic Swimming Para National Championships to be held in Tucson, AZ from December 14th to the 16th. Brian is excited and is looking forward to taking this next step in his journey. He has intensified his training as next year is the last full year before the 2020 Games and he wants to be in top form so that he can compete for a place on Team USA. In addition to a full training schedule Brian continues to maintain top grades in 10th grade AP and honor classes.
We would be exceptionally grateful for your kind assistance towards the expenses associated with this event. In the event that anyone has airlines miles that could be used for travel expenses that would also be more than welcome.
Again we thank you for your ongoing generosity and look froward to sharing Brian's successes with you.
Just wanted to share these pictures from Brian's very first swim meet as this is where his love for swimming developed into his dedication to the sport and his determination to compete at the highest level.
Thanks again for your kindness and feel free to share Brian's story.
I am of the firm opinion that Brian will reach the heights he has set for himself. A real inspiration to all of us back home , but more importantly to those of us who are suffering from inferior complexes and the likes, here is a young man who says bring a double amputi is no excuse, what an inspiration. I wish him all the best in his endevours , Go for it Brian.