CJ is an amazing unique individual, who has allowed us to be apart of his journey. His story is one about overcoming obstacles and choosing to press forward!
I would like to dedicate this to CJ. Born without a femur (long bone from hip to knee) as well as a rare bone disease called Hereditary Exostoses.
Hereditary Exostoses presents with non-malignant tumors that grow within the bone. The tumors grow to more than uncomfortable proportions and often require removal. CJ was born without arguably the most important bone in his body and stricken by tumors in most of the bones that he did have. The combination provided him a life stricken to a wheelchair, doctor visits, and surgeries. At the age of 14, CJ opted for a surgical procedure called a Rotation Plasty only performed by a few surgeons in all the United States. The 14-hour surgery consisted of removing the femur-less portion of his leg, rotating the lower extremity from the knee down, and pulling it up to then be bolted into his
pelvis. The ankle would then act like a knee joint allowing CJ the opportunity to have a prosthetic leg (Look it up! It’s amazing!). The operation of course was the easy part. CJ remained at the hospital for 6 months recovering andlearning to WALK! He now is nearly unstoppable and referred to Freedom PTTC to learn how to RUN! Throughout the process, CJ has participated in CrossFit, Adaptive sports such as Rugby, skateboarding, and boxing. He is now a personal trainer and desires to utilize his story to motivate and encourage others.
Although impossible to completely relate to CJ, if you are unable to lift your child, walk your dog, or exercise to stay healthy due to pain, it doesn’t have to be that way. CJ realized that he did not have to stay in the wheelchair. It was going to have to take effort and a few life changes, however the potential outcomes were worth it! One thing I would like to mention about CJ. The 6 month stay in the hospital was originally planned to be 6 weeks. 6 years removed CJ continues to battle altercations. 5 months ago, he slipped and fell fracturing his hip. Currently he is suffering a pressure sore due to increased activity. Nonetheless, CJ has decided to press on and figure out how to stay moving! At Freedom, we offer all that we have to give him that chance and we hope that you also will believe in us. Take a chance, make a change and come and write your story with us! Just be ready to work.