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Young Maine Wrestler Doesn’t Let Disability Keep Him from the Mat

CARIBOU, Maine (CNN) — An inspirational tale about overcoming adversity. One Maine high school student is thriving as a wrestler on his school’s team, despite having a disability that could have easily held him back.

Kevin Henderson’s wrestling coach calls him an inspiration.

“If every one of the wrestlers in the state of maine had Kevin’s spirit, they’d all be state champions,” says Fort Kent wrestling coach Kevin Pelletier.

Kevin is a second-year member of the Fort Kent wrestling team, and faces a challenge that no other team member does. He has cerebral palsy, but you’d never know judging by his spirit.

“I can do something that not many people can do with my disability,” says Kevin.

Cerebral Palsy is an abnormality of motor functions, or in simpler terms, it means that because of an injury to the brain, you’re not able to properly use some of the muscles in your body.

For a wrestler, having C.P. isn’t easy, but Kevin doesn’t let it get in the way.

In fact, Kevin doesn’t think of himself as a role model. He’s just another member of the Warrior wrestling team.

“I do not want to have an asterisk next to me. I’m just the same as everyone else.”

Pelletier adds, “For him to be out here wrestling along with the other kids that are doing what they’re doing, it’s just, you know, it’s something to say for all the other kids that wanted to join but didn’t because they didn’t feel like it. You know, Kevin’s here every day.”

At every practice, every meet, Kevin is either cheering on the sidelines or out on the mat.

On January 2nd, Kevin competed at caribou. He gave a good fight, but didn’t come out on top.

Kevin may not have been a winner in the books, but judging by the sounds of the crowd, he was a winner in their eyes.

“Never give up, man. You do what you have to do on that mat, and you get up, and you shake his hand no matter what.”

And that’s exactly what Kevin did.


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