Amputation does not slow local boyWritten by Patrick Timmis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cody Kenyon spends his summers like most 12-year-olds.
He rides his bike, plays football, baseball and basketball with his family and goes to summer camp.
Unlike most kids, Cody lost his left leg when he was 11 months old.
When Cody was born, one leg was too short, crippling him. The safest operation, and the one most likely to succeed, was amputation.
“I can’t even tell you what it’s like to see some little kid laying there at 11 months old and there’s nothing you can do,” said his father David Kenyon. “And you had to make a decision like that, for the rest of his life and the rest of your life.”
That life so far has been characterized by overcoming challenges and putting fears aside.
“When I was really little, it felt like there was a little difference,” Cody said of himself and the children around him. “But as I get older, it feels like there’s no difference at all. I can do everything they can; some things even better.”
Cody said he doesn’t think of himself as having a disability, and his mother Cindy Perlowitz said the family has never treated him differently because he has a prosthetic leg instead of a flesh and bone one.
Whatever he wanted to try, he tried, she said. So Cody played volleyball in sixth grade. He plans on trying out for baseball, basketball and wrestling when he begins eighth grade this coming fall.
“I’ve never seen him back down,” David said, describing his son as “unstoppable.”
Cody is also a top-notch student. He earns straight A’s and will begin algebra, advanced language arts and other advanced classes this semester as an eighth-grader.
Social studies is his favorite subject, he said — science is his least. He also likes to read and will pick up any kind of book.
“As long as it’s thicker,” he said. “I don’t like thin, flimsy stuff.”
Despite his dislike for science, Cody is interested in medicine. He is interested in becoming a prosthetist some day, constructing artificial limbs for other amputees.
Helping people with similar experiences is an important goal for Cody. One of his heroes is David McGranahan, an amputee athlete from Sylvania who runs sports clinics for amputees.
Cody’s amputation was not the end of his medical difficulties. He has had four or five different leg-related surgeries, Cindy said, but he continues to bounce back from each one of them.
“He just takes everything [in] stride,” she said. “He’s a lot of people’s inspiration.”
Part of taking things in stride is learning how to do things his own way when he cannot do something normally.
When Cody wanted to learn how to ride a bike, David had one built for him with custom pedals, but Cody could not get the hang of it.
“I just got to do it different. I can’t do it like everyone else, I just got to figure out a way to do it my way,” David said his son told him. Finally they got a regular bike for him, and Cody took off.
“He’s not really limited,” said Ira Perlowitz, Cody’s stepfather. “He’s scared to do things that other kids do, but once he does it, he’s just like any other kid.”
But he has proven he is more than just any other kid.
“He’s an incredible kid,” Ira said. “He shows us what can be done against odds. I think he pushes us and makes us a tighter family.”