KEANSBURG, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – An amputee in New Jersey is making a big impression on and off the football field.
The student-athlete is making sure his limb loss doesn’t hold him back.
Catching a football in the rain is a challenge, unless you’ve spent a lifetime overcoming even bigger challenges.
“This is what makes me, me. My mentality is to never give up and always look for the positives because there’s always a bunch of negatives in life,” Christian Rasmussen said.
The senior at Keansburg High School is playing safety in football, defending and intercepting passes. He succeeds with the odds stacked against him.
“I’ve adapted to be able to catch with this part of my forearm here and just being able to do that amazes me every time I do it. I just see it and I’m like ‘wow I’m doing this,’” Rasmussen explained.
Christian was born with a cancerous tumor on his right hand. The side effects of chemo forced his family to make a tough decision when he was six months-old. Their baby’s arm was amputated at his elbow.
“I see it as the best option for me because I’m still doing everything I could’ve done with two hands.”
The senior is a nominee for the Heart of a Giant Award presented by the New York Giants and the Hospital for Special Surgery. The winner gets a $10,000 award for his school.
“To win the Heart of a Giant would mean so much to me… It means to have willpower, to have determination, to have the fight to succeed in all you do in life and I believe I embody that,” the senior said.
Christian reframed his hardship as a challenge to overcome; responding by becoming active.
“I common thing I would always do is put it behind my back… I find myself not wearing sweatshirts and wearing t-shirts now because people are accepting me here and that’s what I love about this town,” Rasmussen added.
“Over the years we’re building the culture here and showing everybody why we’re the Keansburg Titans and we’re proud to be coming from this town.”
A one square-mile town, not known for outstanding athletes, but Christian is building an outstanding future.
The winner of the Heart of a Giant Award will be announced in November.