Quad amputee visits Canton elementary students - CBS46 News

Quad amputee visits Canton elementary students

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Sometimes inspiration can be a little hard to come by. But Kyle Maynard proves we can all do what we set our minds to.

Maynard, 28, an ESPY-award winning athlete and a quadruple amputee, spoke to students at Macedonia Elementary in Canton on Wednesday.

Even though Maynard was born without limbs, he is a wrestling champ, a weight-lifter and he has climbed Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro.

He speaks across the country motivating everyone who'll listen, including little kids.

Six-, 7- and 8-year-olds packed the school gym, listening quietly to Maynard tell his life story.

"I was born without arms and legs," Maynard told them. "And like a ton of times, over and over again I wanted to quit, I wanted to give up. But my mom and dad thankfully wouldn't let me. They kept making me try to figure out how to do it on my own.

The message resonated with one little boy in particular, 8-year-old Memphis Lafferty. Bacterial meningitis caused Memphis to lose his limbs just months after he was born. Memphis' father, Chris Lafferty, said his son was "thrilled" to meet Maynard.

"He told me, 'Daddy, when I grow up I wanna be just like Kyle,'" said Lafferty. "He knows that he can do anything because Kyle's done it. He's proven he can do anything. So that gives my son hope."

He said it makes him feel better as a single parent.

"I know when I was born my mom and dad tried to seek a lot of answers," Maynard explained to CBS Atlanta reporter Donna Rapado. They were trying to relate, "just looking for other people who'd done some cool stuff with their life. So it was really special to have that connection with Memphis and his dad."

When Maynard was done talking to the kids, they all filed out of the gym, one by one high-fiving him. One little girl unexpectedly hugged Maynard. Surprised, he hugged her back and said, "it's nice to meet you!"

Maynard was born with a condition known as congenital amputation, and it hasn't slowed him down one bit. Kyle's wrestled for one of the best teams in the Southeast, set records in weightlifting, fought in mixed martial arts and most recently became the first man to crawl on his own to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. He is a motivational speaker, a New York Times best-selling author and an entrepreneur.

"I think it comes down to the fact that if you want something bad enough you own it, you take responsibility for the things you want to change in your life and you just get up and find a way to do it. It doesn't mean it's gonna be easy," Maynard explained of his drive.

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