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How One Woman’s Love Changed the Lives of Two Inner-city Students (VIDEO)

This is the most inspiring and moving story I read in a long time. Former ESPN producer Lisa Fenn tells of what happened four years ago when she crossed paths with two disabled inner-city kids who had no hope:

But what I found on the wrestling mats at Cleveland’s Lincoln-West High School in 2009 caused my spirit to sink and soar, all in the same moment.

Dartanyon was Lincoln’s best and strongest talent. He was 5-foot-7 with muscles bunched like buckeyes and a winner in multiple weight classes. He was also homeless, subsisting on the soggy mozzarella sticks and badly bruised apples served in cafeteria lunches. His mama died of an aneurysm when he was 8 years young, at which point family collected him and took him to live in an East Cleveland crack house. Where exactly it was Dartanyon could not say because Dartanyon is legally blind. Born with Leber’s disease, a condition that causes acute vision loss, he can barely make out the facial features of a person sitting a few feet away.

Perched atop Dartanyon’s back — yes, riding on his back — was teammate Leroy Sutton. He traveled around up there because he had no legs, and the school had no elevator. And because when he was 11 years young, he was hit by a train. Yes, a freight train. Though the paramedics saved his life, they could not save his entire body. His left leg was amputated below the knee, his right leg below the hip. His mother, ravaged by guilt, soon slipped into drug use and disappeared for stretches of time, leaving Leroy alone to care for his younger sister. His father spent nearly all of Leroy’s youth in jail. The “why” questions haunted Leroy, but he learned to mask their torment with a quick smile.

The one with no legs, being carried by the one who could not see. At first, I stayed because I simply could not look away.

Read the full story here.

I hope this story inspires you as it has me. Loving a person in need, whether in big ways or small, can truly change a life.

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