Madera teen gets a life-changing donation

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The community of Madera is rallying around a local freshman, recognizing him for overcoming obstacles. 14-year-old Axel Morales has a bright and determined smile. Born without legs, the teen's parents raised him to fear nothing and overcome everything.

His sister Lucero Morales tells us, "They raised him telling him nothing is going to hold him back just because you're this way doesn't mean you're not good enough it just means you're that much stronger."

He took those words to heart, treating education like it's easy. Mastering a 4.0 GPA, standing out in the FFA and then he discovered a love of basketball. His therapists say the adaptive sports program through Valley Children's Hospital turned him into a "beast" on the court. But there was one problem. The wheelchair. It just wasn't efficient during the game.

Coach Rick Martines, his adaptive P.E. specialist said, "When he got into 7th grade he noticed the kids were a lot bigger and it made it more difficult for him to be active."

Martines noticed the chair was holding him back. He explained, "He had been really quiet the past two years and this team showed him it doesn't matter the disability he can be active and it's given him the ability to do that and come out of his shell."

Martines found friends in the Madera 20/30 club. They took on the mission, buying a top of the line, state of the art wheelchair for Axel, upwards of $3,000.

Ricky Saldate, the 20/30 club president said, "Anything that we can do to help out the community we were raised in helps us feel better about what is going to happen to the future of Madera."

They gave him the chair in front of the entire school. Axel said publicly, "Thank you for everything you've supported me in I don't know what to say but..."

He's a man of a few words, but Axel emotionally said this donation means the world. Yet another example of an obstacle he'll overcome, dunking his fears straight through the net.

Axel explained, "It let me relieve my stress cause I just play I don't worry about homework or school."

Bringing hope and courage on and off the court.

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