By Matt Rothman
Before Coral Springs resident Ryan Scanlon was born, he faced an obstacle changing his entire life: a stroke on the right side of his body in utero, leaving him with weakness on his right side.
At the age of eight, he had surgery on his leg to help him walk and received injections of botox to help strengthen his muscles. However, now entering his senior year at North Broward Preparatory School, Scanlon never let his disability affect him.
“It is something that I have had my entire life, but I managed to turn a negative into a positive,” he said. “I try and live my life to the fullest without trying to have something or someone bring me down.”
The big-time Boston sports fan has competed on the varsity football team for the past three seasons playing both the offensive and defensive line. Despite having a disadvantage, he uses his stronger hand to push through the challenge while using the less dominant hand for support.
As the baseball team manager at North Broward Prep, he helped contribute to a State Championship in May.
While growing up playing baseball, he decided he wanted to work for the team in high school. Scanlon shows up to practice every day, collects stats, and keeps the team’s morale high.
“It’s amazing to see what Ryan can do,” said teammate Bryce Katari. “He overcomes every challenge thrown at him, and he continues to make his friends and family proud.”
As a camp counselor at Eagles Landing and the Night Owls where he was a camper for nine years, Scanlon works double duty taking summer courses at Syracuse, Wake Forest, and Michigan.
After high school, he plans to go to college to pursue sports management. His parents Mary, and Tim, attended Villanova University, and his older brother Patrick, who played on the football team with him, will be a sophomore at Villanova.
His message to others who face challenges is this: “I just want to show any other kid that it doesn’t matter if you have a weakness. You can push through it, and I hope I can be an inspiration for others.”
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- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is now attending the University of Florida as a graduate student.
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