People will always tell you something is impossible until they see that said impossible thing happen with their very own two eyes.
My cousin was born with a rare birth defect that caused his brain to swell up. Doctors were hesitant that he'd ever fully recover and be able to "function normally in society."
You can't imagine how frustrating it was to hear from a medical professional that one of your family members wasn't going to live "a normal life." That he could never play sports. That he could never succeed in any way he desired because of his birth defect.
Now many years later, he's doing just fine. He may have defied the odds, but isn't that what life is all about?
Shaquem Griffin likely had the same mentality when he wanted to play football.
He lost his hand at only four years old from amniotic band syndrome, which is a rare birth defect that causes the fetus to become entangled in the amniotic sac. In Griffin's case, a band of tissue wrapped around his left wrist.
He remembers there was one time when he threatened to cut off his own fingers because he was in agonizing pain whenever his left hand touched anything.
Now the 22-year-old adult is a college football star, and a talented one indeed...
According to ESPN, Griffin hopes to be the first one-handed player drafted to the NFL, and that dream isn't too far off.
During an event where college football players showcase their talent, he reportedly ran the fastest 40-year yard for a linebacker. He beat the last record that was set in 2003.
As for his strength, he uses a prosthetic hand to lift weights and keep in shape.
"People didn't think I could do it," he recalled in an interview at the 2018 NFL Combine. Now that he did, there's nothing stopping the young star from following his dreams.
Check out this video where he amazes coaches by benching 225lb for 20 reps!
When asked by a reporter how he felt repping such heavy weight with a prosthetic hand, he said he felt amazing: "Obviously a lot of people didn’t think I was gonna be able to do the bench press. When I first got the prosthetic arm, I just got a bar, I was shaking all over the place. Being able to put numbers like that with good competition with everybody it's amazing because it shows all the work I put in to this level."