12/03/2013 06:05AM ● Published by Style
Photos by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group
One could sum up the life of Roger Crawford in one word: inspirational.
He was born with ectrodactyly, a congenital disorder that affects the limbs, particularly the fingers and toes, and at just five years old, his left leg was amputated below the knee. Yet Crawford’s parents taught him to concentrate on his abilities, rather than his disabilities. “So often we become preoccupied with our weaknesses, rather than spending our time and energy focused on our unique talents,” Crawford explains. “I wasn’t going to allow my physical challenges to serve as an excuse.” During college at Loyola Marymount University, Crawford joined the tennis team and became the first person with four impaired limbs to play a Division I sport. He was recognized as an athlete by the United States Professional Tennis Association, and in 2013, received the prestigious Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Achievement Award.
Crawford now lives in Granite Bay, a happily married father of four. When he isn’t with his family, he travels across the country for his work as an in-demand motivational speaker (rogercrawford.com). His message is simple: Everyone has disabilities, some more visible than others, and it’s how we surmount them that really matters. “We’ve all got challenges,” Crawford says. “Real handicaps can be overcome; it’s the imaginary ones that disable people.”
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