Local kids with physical challenges inspired by Seahawks rookie Shaquem Griffin

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KING COUNTY, Wash. -- To truly understand our abilities, sometimes we need to challenge them. Eleven-year-old Levi was born without a fibula, but that hasn’t slowed her down.

“Nothing slows her down. She learned to ride a bike literally at 4 and mastered a unicycle in 1st grade,” says Levi's mother, Niki.

Niki says role models with limb differences, like the Seattle Seahawks’ popular draft pick Shaquem Griffin, have a big impact.

“Levi’s a twin, so the fact that Shaquem and his twin were both drafted was exciting,” Niki says, referring to Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin,  who was drafted by Seattle last year.

“He’s (Shaquem's) really awesome and he doesn’t have a hand and it doesn’t seem to be affecting him and I want to be like that,” says Levi.

Nine-year-old Abbey is a gymnast and she has a limb difference, too; one hand, just like Shaquem.

She says, like him, she stays focused on her passion.

“I just think it’s normal and I just do things differently,” says Abbey.

She is fearless and she is able.

Her mother, Melissa, said, “I remember when somebody said she had a disability and I’ve never thought of it as a disability. It’s just a challenge she has to get through and she’s proven to us she can take on pretty big challenges."

If little eyes are always watching, Shaquem Griffin is what Levi and Abbey have been yearning to see.

And Levi wants him to know this: “Don’t be afraid of the ball, it’s not going to hurt you. You have helmets on. If you have anxiety, take deep breaths, that’s what I do and it works really well."


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