Nine-year-old Ezra Frech has achieved a lot of things in his short life — in the past year, he’s already set seven national track and field records. Despite being a leg amputee and only having two fingers on his left hand, Ezra has an impressive list of accomplishments. Now wonder he has been nominated as Sports Illustrated Kids SportsKid of the Year.

Ezra has faced what many adults would perceive as nearly insurmountable odds for a kid with dreams of an athletic career. Born with one leg that was shorter than the other, and only one finger on his left hand, Ezra underwent extensive surgery to amputate his foot on the shorter leg. Doctors used one of his toes to create a second finger on his left hand. That’s a lot of painful surgeries to go through at only 2 1/2 years old.

Ezra’s experience is a testament to how resilient kids can be. Not only does he use a prosthetic leg to walk around – he also spends most of his time competing in sports including basketball, football, karate, and track and field.

“When I play sports it makes me feel at home and I’m not thinking about being different,” Ezra told Kids In The House in a recent interview. “And I just feel like I am one of the guys.”

Ezra shares his triumphs with other kids, bringing inspiration to local schools each year . His message: being different is okay, and no matter what your circumstances, you can achieve your dreams.

“I am so proud of this story about Ezra because he inspires us all to overcome and move ahead,” says Leana Greene, CEO of Kids In The House.

“You can do anything you want to. You can dream it, you can hope it, or you can make it happen. I choose in my life to make it happen because that’s the only way you are going to get it,” says Ezra.

You can vote for Ezra as SportsKid of the Year by visiting www.sikids.com/skoty. (Voting closes 12:00PM ET on October 13th.)

  • Versinel

    Sometimes we really don’t give kids the credit they deserve. Kids are amazingly resilient and stories like this are the things that remind us both young and old of how much any person can truly accomplish if they set their minds to it.

    Also, the link to voting is broken – please fix because he definitely gets my vote!

  • LittleButterfly

    This is such an inspiring story. We, especially adults, are so quick to complain about every little thing. Any little problem becomes an insurmountable obstacle for us. This story is a great reminder that we can achieve anything that we set our minds to, and that we should be grateful for everything we have.

  • Cuppycake

    Such a brave little boy. He doesn’t let it stop him or hold him back in life. More adults need to learn something from him.

  • justphilip

    Having played some basketball myself, I have to say, for a kid with
    barely two fingers in one arm, this game can be very hard. But I hope he
    finds his way with the ball, and shoot some hoops. 🙂

  • SelenaJ25

    What a remarkable young man Ezra is. It’s incredible to see how open-minded young children can be. He may be different in the way he looks, but he has made his life into something special so far. This is a message that more adults should take to heart.