Ghana amputee to Marathon victims: Never give up

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April 17, 2013, 6:51 pm
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(NECN: Mike Cronin) - Lives were forever changed. Many of the victims of the bombings lost limbs. A man from very far away is hoping to serve as inspiration, wanting to show that life is worth living.

It's a unique message from a unique man, coming just two days after many injured in Boston needed amputations.

“Everyone has a gift. Everyone is a dreamer,” says Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, a Ghana amputee.

He brought his dream to Fairlawn Rehab in Worcester, Mass. He was born with a deformed right leg. His home country of Ghana believed disabled babies were cursed.

“I buy my own soccer ball because I love soccer. I wanted to play with them and they say no,” he says.

But Emmanuel wanted to prove disability doesn't mean inability. A non-profit provided him with a bike. In the early 2000s, he pedaled 400 miles across Ghana on one leg, spreading his message.

“When you believe in somebody and you believe that is something that you want to do in the near future to change the perception in this world, go ahead and do it,” he says.

Emmanuel helped pass legislation to improve rights of disabled people in Ghana; 11 years ago he moved to the United States. His leg was amputated and he got a prosthetic leg. Emmanuel was honored by Oprah at the ESPYs.

Speaking to Fairlawn amputee patients, occupational therapist Said Nafai says he's an inspiration to them as they go through rehab.

“It's somebody that already went through it. Somebody like an international motivational speaker... If you are disabled, it doesn't mean you are not able to perform anything.”

Emmanuel is now trying to build a school in Ghana. Next year, he's going to bike from California to Washington DC to raise money.

“When we come together as a team, we can able to achieve a lot.”

Emmanuel also has a message for those the victims who lost limbs in the Boston Marathon bombing. He says there are ways to overcome what happened.

“That they should never give up. They should keep on pounding, no matter how it is. They will be heroes one day. Ya, to many people.”

Tags: Boston, Boston Marathon, Ghana, amputee, Mike Cronin, Boston Marathon bombings, fairlawn
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