Zach Hodskins is an exceptional high school basketball player who has excelled for his school and also on the AAU circuit. What makes Zach unique is that he is so good despite the fact that he is missing the bottom half of his left arm.  In February 1996, Zach’s parents were shocked when their son was born missing half his arm. According to his father, there was no real reason for the missing limb. Zach was a healthy child and they just had to accept that he would grow up with only half a left arm.

From the time Zach was a little kid, he not only accepted it, but he embraced it. His father always treated him as normally as possible and Zach really took to the game of basketball. Zach has really become a star on the court as a guard on his high school team in Alpharetta, Georgia. 

Opposing players often think the best strategy is to make Zach go to his left, but Zach has seen this so much that he has actually learned to go to his left as good or better than his right. In fact, he played so well
during a 2013 AAU camp, that he was named one of the most impressive prospects.

Now, he is even receiving interest from colleges. First, UAB had interest and most recently, the University of Florida has offered him the opportunity to make the team as a preferred walk-on.

 When asked what motivates him, Zach said: “Passion and love for the sport helps me overcome all obstacles. To this day, I haven’t come across anything I can’t do. I know that people who don’t know me sleep on me when I walk on the court. They don’t think I can play or they don’t know what to think, but it’s when I hit those first few shots or when I go by them is when they wake up. That’s when they start playing me hard. And that’s what I love. I know that I have just earned their respect and that’s all I want.”

For more info on his recent offer from Florida, read this ESPN article: 
http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/9572836/zach-hodskins-one-handed-basketball-prospect-offer-florida-gators-report

 
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What would you do if you were shot in the head two months shy of your eighteenth birthday and your high school graduation? For Balaal Hollings,
the answer is that you trust in God, focus on your recovery, learn to walk and
talk again and then give a speech as Senior Class President during the graduation – all in two months. Then, of course, you go out and throw the first
pitch at a Tiger’s game in Detroit’s Commercia Park.

In April 2013, Balaal was shot while attending a friend’s spring break party. Some guys that no one knew showed up at the party and started trouble. The party was quickly shut down and as people were leaving, gun shots rang out from the uninvited guests. Balaal was struck in the head and the bullet lodged in his brain.

Balaal was taken to Sinai-Grace Hospital where he was operated on by neurosurgeon Dr. Aria Sabit.  "He was essentially the definition of dead. There was no functioning in his brain whatsoever,” Sabit said. But he decided to operate anyway because Balaal was young enough that he might just survive this ordeal. After two hours, the surgeon was able to stop the bleeding and relieve pressure on the brain.

It was a shock to his classmates and friends. Balaal was the senior class president and the homecoming king. He played multiple sports and was captain of the football team. He was even voted Most Likely to Succeed in the yearbook. 

"This young man represents what we're all about, that is, academic success, and it was critically important for me to go to the hospital and let him and his family know that he is important to us, that he has a bright
future, and that we stand ready to ensure his continued success," said Roy Roberts, who is the  Detroit Public Schools emergency manager.

Balaal never doubted that he would get better. He focused on his rehabilitation and put his trust in God. Over the next two months, his hard work paid off as he was able to walk across the stage at his graduation and deliver that speech. (see video below)

“God is not done with me. I know I haven't fulfilled my purpose. I'm not sure what that purpose is, but I know I haven't done it yet. It's a lot He still wants me to do,” said Balaal.

During his graduation speech, he said: “First, I want to thank God. It’s so good to be alive. This is just a small piece of my life. I still have my whole life to live.” The auditorium went nuts for him and now he
continues to inspire many around the country.

To read more about the story, go to: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/07/teen-shooting-victim-it-is-so-good-to-be-alive/2402795/

 
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Josh Blue was born in 1978 with cerebral palsy. But he did not  let this condition stop him from doing what he loved when he grew up. You see, Josh is funny and he says he is funny because he has always just wanted to fit in. So, naturally, Josh became a comedian and has proven to be quite successful
on the comedy circuit.

 Josh was on the fourth season of the reality TV show called Last Comic Standing where he was voted the winner. He has also appeared on the Ellen Degeneres Show, Live with Regis and Kathy Lee and has had numerous appearances on ABC, NBC and Fox. He has even had his own Comedy Central special recently.

Much of his comedy centers around his disability and his experiences dealing with the unexpected occurrences due to his disability. He has found that people respond well to his self-deprecating humor and it his way of showing people that everyone has something to deal with, so why not just laugh about it. Check out his stand-up routine above. He is hilarious.

For more information, visit his website: www.joshblue.com