Advertising
Advertising

Being Different Is OK: The Real Story Of 10-Year Old Ezra Frech

Being Different Is OK: The Real Story Of 10-Year Old Ezra Frech

Ezra Frech has endured more than the average person’s share of challenges ― and he is only 10 years old. He was born with disabilities that would cause most people to slow down and give up, and few people expected him to physically excel. Yet, far from deterred by his irregularities, Ezra continues to push himself, and today he boasts one of the most inspirational stories of the year.

Born With Congenital Differences

Though Ezra was born a healthy, happy baby boy, he did have some obvious anomalies that would make life difficult for him. Perhaps most obvious was baby Ezra’s left arm, which ended in a single finger rather than a full five-fingered hand. However, more detrimental to his development, Ezra’s left leg was excessively curved, and he was missing his left patella and fibula ― crucial bones that allow the leg to bend. Movement for baby Ezra was awkward and painful, and a single digit was not enough for him to grasp objects effectively. His parents and doctors imagined a better life ― but that life required Ezra to have dramatic surgeries.

Rebuilt by Modern Medicine

At the tender age of 2, Ezra went under the knife. The primary goal for Ezra’s surgeries was to create limbs that gave the boy more mobility and utility, especially as he aged.

Advertising

Initially, doctors amputated Ezra’s left leg below the hip, replacing the kneeless leg with a human-built alternative. By streamlining the non-functioning leg into a short stump, doctors created an appendage that would better fit modern prosthetics. Additionally, using the big toe from the discarded limb, doctors gave Ezra a second finger on his left hand, which allowed him strength and dexterity he previously lacked.

After a couple years of recovery, Ezra received his first prostheses at age 4. The Hanger Clinic gave Ezra two different legs: one with an articulated knee for everyday use and a running blade designed for high activity. For the first time in his life, Ezra was able to use two functional legs to walk with a normal gait, but more than that ― Ezra was able to run and jump.

Inspired by Physical Feats

Even before Ezra received his artificial limb, he was entranced by sports. Baby Ezra could spend hours rolling balls back and forth across the floor, and he learned to count early (albeit by twos) by watching professional basketball games. As soon as he could stand at 1 and a half years, Ezra practiced shooting basketballs; throughout his recovery, he would devote hours to running around the backyard, increasing his endurance, and perfecting his form. He simply couldn’t wait to begin playing sports, and when he donned his new leg, he finally got his wish.

Advertising

Empowered to Try Harder

Despite Ezra’s athletic zeal, his prosthetic leg didn’t immediately transform him into a sports prodigy. Ezra often tells the story of his first experience on the basketball court in kindergarten after obtaining his first leg: He missed every shot he took, and instead of completing his set like the other kids, Ezra ran away disheartened. Fortunately, Ezra’s coach pulled Ezra aside and told him to continue making shots and “finish well.” Ezra took that lesson to heart, and from then on, he always pushed himself to complete his physical endeavors, no matter how poorly he performed.

ezra

    Eventually, Ezra did master his leg ― and then some. He travels the country to compete in national competitions, like the Endeavor Games, the Desert Challenge Games, and the National Junior Disability Championships, and to date, Ezra holds nine national records for junior track and field events, including the long jump and the high jump. Plus, Ezra competes in district basketball, soccer, and football leagues, finishing his season as his team’s starting quarterback.

    Advertising

    Heartening to Everyone

    Ezra’s achievements are testaments to the power of committing to one’s goals, something even tycoon business leaders could learn from. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what one’s obstacles are ― it only matters that one strives to overcome them.

    Ezra isn’t afraid to admit that he is challenged by his differences every day. Every single step puts unnatural strain on his body, and he sometimes does pray for a divine solution to his problems. However, Ezra says, “I have to think about what I have instead of what I don’t have.” Ezra appreciates his body for what it allows him to do, and he wants people to know that it is OK to be different ― sometimes, it even allows you to be more amazing than you thought possible.

    Image of Ezra running by Jason Gould from Angel City Sports

    Advertising

    Featured photo credit: LifeHack via media.lifehack.org

    More by this author

    Who’s at the Wheel? Technology Causing Distracted Driving and Other Stories of Multi-Tasking Is Your Website Costing You Sales? Staying Afloat: Why Kids Should Learn to Swim If You’re a Burned Out Entrepreneur There’s a Solution Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Parents

    Trending in Communication

    1 41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About 2 The Lifehack Show Episode 3: Why Validation is Key to Lasting Relationships 3 How to Get Your Kids to Stop Whining All the Time 4 13 Simple Habits to Cultivate Self-Compassion 5 44 Self Love Quotes That Will Make You Mentally Stronger

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on July 15, 2019

    41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

    41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

    Some things in life are hard to describe, yet we can recognize them when we see them.

    Love is one of those things.

    True love comes in many different forms, but here are some that many of us know well.

    True love means supporting those who can’t support themselves

    supportive couple

      A young man comforts his date in Times Square, New York City. Image by mbtrama

      strong hug

        A young man holds his significant other close to him. Image by Brad Fults

        running help

          A young track competitor helps one of her injured opponents over the finish line. Image from ViralNova.com

          feeding kitten

            A soldier in the Korean War takes time to feed a baby kitten. Image from US Naval Insititute

            It’s having the perfect selfie partner

            mom and daughter selfie

              A mother and her daughter take a selfie together. Image by Andrew Fysh

              girlfriends

                Two young girls pose for the camera. Image by Rolands Lakis

                selfies

                  A happy couple takes a picture together. Image by Kayla Heineman

                  Advertising

                  selfie

                    Two best friends take a selfie together. Image by Jason Wahido

                    dude selfie

                      Friends take a selfie together. Image by Glenn Scofield Williams

                      It’s all the warm fuzzies

                      12748262703_84c008f4e5_z

                        A young man spends time with his dog on a beach. Image by Magdalena Roeseler

                        DSC06952

                          A pet owner hugs his dog while on a day trip in San Francisco. Image by Taro the Shiba Inu

                          It means having a friend to photobomb you

                          photobomb

                            A boy makes a funny face as he poses for a picture with his brother. Image by Michael Bentley

                            old man photobomb

                              A man photobombs his wife while their grandson snaps a picture. Image by Frank

                              family photobomb

                                Family members photobomb their relatives’ Thanksgiving day family photo. Image by Beth Scupham

                                boyfriend photobomb

                                  A friend photobombs the photographer and their friend, the woman in the foreground of this photo. Image by Lachlan Hardy

                                  True love means being there even when life gets unbearably hard

                                  Advertising

                                  shoulder to cry on

                                    A family watches the Vermont National Guard depart for Afghanistan. Image by The U.S. Army

                                    flood dog

                                      During a monsoon in the Philippines, a boy carries his dog to safety. Image by Romeo Ranoco

                                      A woman is rescued from flood waters by a resident standing on top of her car during heavy rain in Chalandri suburb north of Athens

                                        A man helps a woman out of her vehicle during a flood in Chalandri, Greece. Image by John Kolesidis

                                        lunch

                                          A woman has lunch with her husband every day, even after he’s passed away. Image from ViralNova.com

                                          hug

                                            A woman hugs the mother of 6-year-old Noah Ponzer, who was one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. Image by Spencer Platt

                                            rubble

                                              An Oklahoma couple pauses while trying to salvage belongings from a family member’s home after a tornado. Image by Adrees Latif

                                              sister and brother

                                                A girl puts her arm around her little brother as they wait outside of Sandy Hook Elementary after gunshots are fired. Image by Reuters.

                                                headstone

                                                  A woman sits at her husband’s grave the day before their wedding anniversary. Image from NBC news

                                                  It means taking the time for long goodbyes

                                                  110321-N-BT887-100

                                                    A man says goodbye to his son before deploying. Image by Official U.S. Navy Page

                                                    Advertising

                                                    national guard goodbye

                                                      A South Carolina man says goodbye to his son before deploying for Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                      saying goodbye

                                                        A Sergeant hugs both of his sons before being deployed to Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                        And cherishing reunions

                                                        husband home

                                                          A woman hugs her husband as she sees him for the first time since his deployment to Iraq. Image by The U.S. Army

                                                          boyfriend home

                                                            A young  woman hugs her significant other as he returns home for Kuwait. Image by The National Guard

                                                            mother hug

                                                              A mother drops to her knees as she hugs her son on her return home from the Persian Gulf. Image by The National Guard

                                                              True love is letting yourself feel young when they’re around

                                                              elderly women

                                                                Two friends on their smartphones. Image by Robert Neff

                                                                feeling young

                                                                  A young couple getting their picture taken. Image by db Photograph

                                                                  sprinkler dad

                                                                    A father plays in a sprinkler with his daughter at Millennium Park in Chicago. Image by Ben Forsberg

                                                                    Advertising

                                                                    subway couple

                                                                      A young couple on a subway enjoys sharing time together, while the girlfriend’s father sneaks a photo of them. Image by Gareth Williams

                                                                      wheelchairs

                                                                        A couple holds hands on a fall day. Image by David Amsler

                                                                        It’s letting yourself be silly… just because they’ll enjoy it

                                                                        silly faces

                                                                          A grandfather makes faces at the camera with his granddaughters. Image by Tim Pierce

                                                                          vote for pedro

                                                                            A woman’s father wears a Napoleon Dynamite t-shirt to make his daughter laugh. Image by emdot

                                                                            True love is allowing yourself to show how you really feel

                                                                            date night

                                                                              A young couple kisses in the back of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Image by Derek Key

                                                                              playing violin

                                                                                Violinist Nancy Dinovo plays at a memorial service for the victims of 9/11. Image by Christopher Morris

                                                                                True love is timeless

                                                                                old friends

                                                                                  Friends spending some time together. Image by Cristian Bortes

                                                                                  sitting around a fire

                                                                                    A group of friends sits around a campfire eating. Image by New Old Stock

                                                                                    elderly couple

                                                                                      An elderly couple walks down a street together. Image by Matteo Paciotti

                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Matteo Paciotti via flickr.com

                                                                                      Read Next