When Riley Rhoden was only two years old, he developed a rare form of cancer on his left arm. Though it was only the size of a mosquito bite, doctors in Texas had to amputate young Riley's entire arm for him to survive.
Somehow, losing an arm hasn't held him back. "It's just the will of the kid," Riley's mom, Rachel, told KLPR. Now six, Riley plays tee ball with the Braves, his local team.
At first, it wasn't easy. "I wondered how I was going to do this," said Riley to KHOU. "I had no idea how to play this sport."
But he persevered, finding inspiration in a YouTube video of a one-armed Japanese baseball player. In the video, the player catches with his mitt, then tosses the ball up, discards the mitt, grabs the ball again (this time with his bare hand), and throws it to the appropriate base. It's a tricky move, but Riley is learning to pull it off.
Riley has also learned to hit the ball from either side of the plate -- an ability his peers struggle to master. As Fox26 points out, the rarity of Riley's struggle seems equally matched by the uniqueness of his courage and optimism.
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