Cami Wood and Landen Rookstool both have had a prosthetic leg for a year. On Wednesday, they made the trip to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis to meet an NFL star that they share a commonality with, along with other families that attend the hospital.
Shaquem Griffin is the only NFL player with one hand. He’s played college football, and now plays for the Seattle Seahawks. According to Sports Illustrated when Shaquem’s mother was pregnant with him and his twin brother, an ultrasound revealed that a fibrous strand of the amniotic membrane had wrapped around Shaquem’s left wrist. If left alone, the band would keep his left hand from developing. Doctors could try to move the band, but if they did, the band might wrap around the neck of one of the twins.
He’s won mulitple awards, including the AAC defensive player of the year in 2016 and performed the fastest time for a linebacker in the 40-yard-dash at the Combine and putting up 20 reps on the bench press.
“The only thing when it comes to the struggles, just having adversity, like for myself you learn at a young age, anything that comes after that, it’s always possible for you to beat it, it’s always possible for you to overcome it, because you’ve been going through adversity since a young child, it’s nothing new to you.” Griffin said.
He wanted to be an inspiration to these young kids, that he didn’t have at their age. By coming to the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, he was able to interact with the families of children like him.
8-year-old Cami Wood plays many sports. She doesn’t let her prosthetic leg slow her down.
“So she was born with a series of different defects in her leg, and talking to the surgeon she could have 5 or 6 different surgieries over the course of her childhood with a 15 to 20 percent chance of success, or she could have it amputated, and learn to work with a prostetic and go on for a normal life and so we talked with Cami about it and Cami actually chose to have her leg amputated.” Cami’s father, Evan Wood said.
Landen Rookstool’s mother knows her son will always appreciate meeting Shaquem at a young age. She feels that even a prosthetic leg can’t stop him from achieving his dreams, just like Shaquem.
“I don’t use the word disability because it’s not true, his prostetic has taken that word out, and there’s nothing he can’t do.” Nicki said.