Braylon "Bray" O'Neill was born nearly 5 years ago with a genetic birth defect: congenital bilateral tibia and fibula hemimelia with syndactylism of the last three digits on his left hand.
But Bray has never let his "diffability" get in his way. He learned to crawl at 8 months and was running on his knees before his 1st birthday. Just a few days after receiving his first prosthetics at 11 months, he pulled himself to a standing position. Three days after having both of his legs amputated, he was flying around the house, his arms acting as propellers. And just days after receiving new below-knee prostheses in July 2012, he was kicking a ball in Central Park and a week later he was outside roughhousing with his cousins.
Braylon is an extremely active little boy who is obsessed with all sports. He takes acrobatics, tennis, and swim lessons is in a tee-ball league and is fascinated by golf. Braylon recently received a grant through CAF for Ossur running legs. He can't wait for the opportunity to be "super-fast" and race with his cousins and neighborhood friends. Braylon is a determined and focused child. He never complains about the "big stuff" in life. If he sees an obstacle, he conquers it. If he wants to do something, he does it. At the age of four, he knows no limitations. Braylon's first encounter with CAF occurred at the Aquaphor Triathlon in New York City in July of 2012. Braylon had the opportunity to visit the CAF booth and had the privilege of meeting several individuals within the organization. A few weeks later, Braylon was provided with a grant to attend the SDTC Triathlon. The experience was beyond powerful as Braylon was able to interact with strong and able athletes who have "legs like him." As a family, we are so grateful that CAF provides opportunities for children like Braylon to develop confidence and determination - some of the greatest gifts that children can possess, especially children with "diffabilities."