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news item News Thursday, March 22, 2018 Wednesday, February 28, 2018 4:45 PM - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 4:45 PM

Brody Roybal – Never give up!

Name: Brody Roybal
Age: 19
Sport: Sled Hockey

When Robert and Michelle Roybal welcomed their first son Brody into the world, they were shocked to learn that he was born without legs – especially since it was not indicated on the ultrasound. The family had many unanswered questions and began to sink into a state of grief.

Michelle’s uncle was a Shriner and recommended that the Roybals see the pediatric orthopaedic specialists at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Chicago. The family finally found the answers and relief they were seeking, at Shriners Hospitals.

“The doctors and nurses at Shriners Hospitals didn’t have the same shock on their faces that everyone else had. They welcomed Brody and immediately gave us hope, saying he would be fine and would go on to do great things,” said Michelle.

Growing up, sports inspired Brody and encouraged him to work hard. He saw adaptive athletes at various Shriners Hospitals events and knew he wanted to be like them. “Everyone at Shriners Hospitals was always so supportive. No one there tells you no, or thinks you can’t do something. They push you to do everything, and that really set a good example for me,” said Brody.

Brody has been playing sled hockey since he was 7-years-old and is one of the top players in the world. In 2014, he brought home a gold medal in sled hockey for Team U.S.A. from the Paralympic games in Sochi, Russia. Only 15 years old at the time, Brody’s doctors at Shriners Hospitals had to provide letters confirming that he was strong enough to compete at such a young age.

Now, Brody is on his way to his second Paralympic games in PyeongChang, South Korea and is hoping to lead the U.S. sled hockey team to another gold medal victory.

His message to other young people with disabilities is to never give up. “You never know how much you’re going to love something until you try it. You may have to find a different way to do something, or work a little harder, but get out there and try things.”

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