Brothers for Life

In Uncategorized on August 27, 2009 at 8:31 am

An endearing relationship. Trying times. And the joys of living life one day at a time without pity. For friends Leroy Sutton and Dartanyon Crockett, life hasn’t been easy, and perhaps never will, but through obstacles and significant challenges, these two have learned to make the most out of opportunities, as small as they may be.

Leroy and Dartanyon (click here to watch ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi’s video and read his article of the two) both have disabilities, but both learned to look life through different lens. In 2001 Leroy was walking near some train tracks, a train comes by, Leroy slips on the gravel, his backpack was caught by a passing car, and he was subsequently pinned underneath. Eventually, Leroy winds up at Lincoln-West High School in 2008. There he meets Dartanyon.

Dartanyon seemingly has everything that Leroy doesn’t. Namely, he has both his legs. Leroy was left as an amputee after his accident. But his charisma, personality, physical strength, will, and determination outshadowed his disability. So much so, that Leroy was a member of the school’s wrestling team, and there was only one who could match Leroy’s ability, Dartanyon. Through practices and a commitment to help the other, Dartanyon and Leroy shared a bond that few share. They were not bound by blood, but by something far deeper. Dartanyon himself has a disability, he is legally blind. He was born with a condition, Leber’s disease that has left him extremely nearsighted.

But for each wrestling match, event, frankly, for each day, Dartanyon took it upon himself to lift and carry Leroy on his back. Leroy, without legs, weighs over 170 pounds–Dartanyon, is 5’10”, 190 pounds, but his physical strength more than matched his inner strength. Dartanyon has endured more by the age of 18 than many have over the course of a long life. In the video, he recalls how often he has moved because of no money. He recalls how he had to scavenge for food. Yet, he remains optimistic.

In the face of adversity, Leroy and Dartanyon looked to their opportunities to make life worthwhile. Two brothers who share a bond. Two brothers who have a disability, yet requests that you do not have sympathy or pity for them. Two brothers who have conquered their weaknesses and made them strengths, yet somehow still remain teenagers. And on graduation night 2009, Lincoln-West High School in Cleveland, Ohio shared in their resilience–Leroy made a promise to himself and many others that he was going to walk across the stage to receive his diploma. And with his brother Dartanyon by his side, Leroy did exactly that.


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