”Make It Count”
Carson Fox has an uncommon story, yet not as uncommon as you might think. His story inspires all who know it, yet Carson shuns the spotlight, overcoming challenges, pushing himself and encouraging others through his example.
A Lucky Break:
One would not normally think breaking an ankle to be a lucky event but in some ways, it was for Carson. In a spring football game, a defensive lineman fell on his foot, breaking his ankle. Tragic enough, but a subsequent MRI revealed a tumor, telangiectatic osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer so rare that it accounts for fewer than 4% of all cases of osteosarcoma, according to the National Institutes of Health
This may have saved Carson’s life but led to the gut-wrenching decision to have his leg amputated above the knee after two rounds of chemotherapy could not stop the growth of the tumor.
Strong, Silent Leadership
Overcoming challenges of any magnitude takes grit, tenacity, and “Fox Fortitude,” an expression coined by his father. All Carson wanted to do was to take the next step.
How do I learn to walk again?
Can I play football again?
What about everyday life?
The first prosthesis fit at the hospital felt unusual and less than comfortable. It was hard to imagine getting back to sports, a passion of his.
Leading by example is always a solid path for Carson. He started getting back in the weight room shortly after his amputation. He crushed his physical therapy sessions and was soon walking into the hospital unaided to ring the bell signifying the end of his chemotherapy.
The New Normal
The track coach at Carson’s High School invited him to try out for the team. Baffled by this opportunity, Carson tried out and earned himself a spot on the team. Despite setting personal bests repeatedly, Carson, not wanting any special consideration, was often beaten by able bodied participants. Although it was disappointing, Carson did not let the losses hold him back from more victories.
Carson finished the track season winning state championship in shot put and placing third in the 100- and 200-meter events. The Varsity Football team was next, and it was not long before he was a starter. “Make it Count” has become Carson’s motto and he certainly lives by his words. He was awarded the 2022 US Paralympic high school track and field all American and the 2022 All Sunset League Long snapper.
This is a big term, and it means a lot and involves a lot:
The support of friends, family, and school mates
Others overcoming similar challenges
The support of strangers
An everyday prosthesis is critical to getting your life back after an amputation. However, for those that need or want a sport specific prosthesis, insurance may not cover costs, sadly putting this option out of reach for many amputees who might benefit.
Fortunately, there are many organizations that help those in need. Move for Jenn Foundation https://moveforjenn.org is a very specific non-profit organization meant to bridge this gap specifically for Osteosarcoma related amputations. Jenn Andrews is the founder and started Move for Jenn through her own personal experience, serving as a call to action to provide grants to individuals who need a sports specific prosthesis.
In Spring of 2022, Carson was selected as one of the Move for Jenn grant recipients. Through the grant he received a BioDapt Moto Knee and Versa Foot, giving him the opportunity to participate in the water and snow sports he loves. He was also provided with the Fillauer AllPro Foot. The AllPro foot crosses all boundaries, combining high flexibility and dynamic performance into a foot that allows the user to work and play like a pro. Whether walking on a flat surface or traversing steep hills, the AllPro performs to meet the amputee’s multiaxial needs. If exercise or sports are on the activity list, this “do-it-all” foot easily transitions from the gym to the tennis and basketball courts, as well as the soccer, football, and lacrosse fields.
This specialized prosthetic equipment rounds out the personal life needs for Carson and lets him enjoy his whole life without barriers.
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