Fresno County siblings defying the odds

FRESNO, Calif.

For 8-year-old Andrew Garza of Parlier and his twin sisters, 6-year-old Zoe and Annie, going to football and cheerleading practice is part of their normal routine. But these siblings are anything but normal.

Born profoundly deaf, Andrew and Zoe do not let their inability to hear affect the way they live life. They communicate by using sign language. Annie, who is not deaf, can translate questions like what Andrew likes the most about playing football with his friends.

Andrew said, "Cuz it's fun to play."

Or asking Zoe what her favorite part of cheerleading is.

Zoe said, "To go to the game and look beautiful."

The community of Parlier is making sure the Garzas feel like any other member of the team.

Andrew's football coaches came up with special wrist bands to help during practices and games.

James Rodriguez, Andrew's football coach said, "It's a good life experience for Andrew and for us as coaches, because we picked up the sign language a little bit, and he's our first deaf kid to come through."

And about 100 yards away, both Zoe and Annie mimic their coaches every move to learn new cheers.

Their coaches do everything they can to help out during practices. For example, Andrew's football coach before a drill will say ball and go. And then Zoe's cheerleading coach before a dance will say ready and then start.

Diane Garza, Andrew, Annie and Zoe's mother said, "My kids go to football games and they see other kids playing, and I want them to be a part of it. What do boys do? Boys play football. I want Andrew to play football. Girls cheer. I want Zoe to cheer."

Because for Diane Garza, the motivation for her kids to be a part of their respective teams is simple.

"They are out there, and they are doing things, and I want them to go somewhere. I want them to be successful. So I'm going to do what I can do to get them successful."

By the looks of it, the Garza kids are well on their way.

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