Paralympian Inspires Hundreds at Dodd

Paralympian Inspires Hundreds at Dodd photo

More than 500 seventh-grade students at Dodd Middle School packed the school’s gymnasium to witness a special presentation from American Paralympian and motivational speaker Rohan Murphy.

A graduate of East Islip High School, Murphy shared his story about how he adjusted in life after losing both his legs at birth. He highlighted the importance of overcoming adversity and living life to the fullest. 

“You all have a choice and you only live once. You get one life, so you might as well make it count, with or without legs,” Murphy said to the crowd. “Every single person eventually has to overcome something in life, some type of hardship, struggle or adversity. Just because you’re dealt a bad hand, it doesn’t mean you have to fold and it doesn’t mean you have to give up. You have to persevere and you have to keep on going in life.”

Murphy spoke about finding his purpose in life through wrestling and demonstrated his skills to the crowd with seventh-grader Landon Daley, who volunteered for the demonstration. 

Along with motivating hundreds of students, Murphy also inspired seventh-grader Wesley Capellan, who also lost both his legs and is currently waiting for his prosthetics. 

District Board of Education President Michael Pomerico, Vice President Anthony Miller, and Trustee Vilma Lancaster also attended the presentation.

Murphy is a nationally recognized youth speaker who has spoken in more than 40 states. After successfully completing his high school wrestling career, Rohan went on to wrestle at Penn State University. He is also an accomplished powerlifter, competing in international competitions representing the U.S.A.