Making Your Mark: Student holds assembly to discuss disability

Devin Johnson from Birdneck Elementary School taught his classmates about his disability

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) - A fifth-grader at Birdneck Elementary School showed his classmates what it's like to live with a disability.

Devin Johnson was born with a disorder that keeps his joints fixed in either a bent or straightened position. The disease is called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita.

Devin is 11 years old and has had 23 surgeries, but it doesn't stop him from being competitive in sports.

"I love playing soccer," he said.

His coach told the PE class filled with over 100 students, power soccer isn't for people with disabilities, it's for those with abilities.

Devin said, "I have AMC, which is Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita."

Devin's disorder is rare. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, AMC affects approximately 1 in 3,000 people in America. The exact cause is not fully understood.

AMC is thought to be related to decreased fetal movement during development, which can occur for a variety of reasons.

"My arms aren't quick and I can't put my arm the whole way out," Devin explained.

It doesn't stop Devin from enjoying life and that's what he wanted to show his classmates.

He said, "I hope they learned what a disability is and what sports someone with a disability can play."

He hopes students also realize people with disabilities can do anything they set their minds to.

The Tidewater Piranhas Power Soccer is the group Devin plays in. Anyone 5 and up in a power wheelchair can sign up.

If you are interested in signing up, head to www.freewebs.com/vapowersoccer or contact Kevin Mulholland at kev3605@verizon.net.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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