Double Amputee Football Star - The Calder Hodge Story
Many kids who love sports growing up dream of playing for their High School team and maybe even continuing on to play in college. Most kids with these dreams aren't like Calder Hodge, who was born without tibia bones and had his legs amputated above the knees when he was 2 and a half. This setback might have stifled the dreams of an ordinary kid, but with unbounded enthusiasm and determination, and the help of prosthetic blades, Calder, now 13, has learned to walk, run and channel his love of football to become a quarterback on his Magnolia, Texas school team.
"Football is the greatest sport ever," he explained. "I can let out energy and I feel normal when I'm playing. I feel like I'm the same as you and the only thing they judge you by on the field is how good you are!"
Calder's parents, Mike and Kayla Hodge, have always encouraged him to do all the things other kids do and to not be limited by thoughts of what he can't do. Calder's football coach, John Tillman, has marveled at his progress over the years. "He didn't come in here knowing how to throw the football," he recalled. "It was a challenge for himself and a challenge for me. He finds a way to do more than kids with legs … way more."
As a developing teenager, there are many challenges ahead for Calder and his family since he will continuously need to upgrade his prosthetics as he grows. He actually needs two sets of prosthetics, one for walking and a set of running blades, but the family's current health insurance only covers one or the other, not both.
Calder is currently fundraising for a new kind of walking prosthetic, but the prosthetics and the surgery are going to cost over $8000, money his parents just don't have. Calder's Gofundme is successful so far but he will need more in order to have the surgery, and learn how to use the legs. These new prosthetics will not only help Calder keep up with other kids his age but make something as simple as crossing a curb or moving from the field to sidewalk easier for him.
With an eye to the future, Calder keeps working and stays positive. He has a dream to one day play for football powerhouse Texas A&M and then go one to be the first double amputee quarterback in NFL history! His drive and enthusiasm have people in Texas rooting for him, including professional and college players who have reached out and offered support.
While blazing a difficult trail, Calder is not one to be shy about what lays ahead. "You can doubt me, you can say all you want to say, but all I'm gonna show you is I'll prove you wrong." Watch out future opponents … it's Game On!
Follow Calder on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/calder_qb7
Donate to Calder's GoFundMe at: https://www.gofundme.com/teamcalder2018
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