Arcadia boy makes his football dreams come true despite all odds
MELROSE, Wis. (WKBT) — It’s the first football game of the season for Arcadia Middle school, and the Raiders roster is full of kids playing the game they love.
7th grader Caden Dahl has waited for this day for as long as he can remember.
“This is a big day for him,” said Caden’s mom Heather Mares.
Like most parents, Caden’s mother was concerned for her son’s safety when he told her he wanted to play.
“Of course a little hesitant about it, a little nervous.”
“I want to be a part of the team,” said Caden.
But he was able to convince his mom to let him suit up as a kicker.
“This wouldn’t be possible if he wouldn’t have kept on me to get this rolling.”
Caden was proud of his first kick, jumping for joy after it traveled 20 yards.
But his mom, even prouder of how Caden got to this point.
“Despite not having arms he’s never down, always can do attitude.”
There’s no medical explanation to why Caden was born without a right arm and a short left arm. His mom was told by a doctor that it was “Just a fluke”
“We didn’t find out about his condition until I was 7 months pregnant, we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare.”
Once Caden was born, he had to adjust to life without arms pretty quickly, being taught by therapists at an early age how to adapt.
“They would come over to our house once a week, help him sit stand, roll over,” said Mares.
“I can do things that other people can do like write or eat.”
While he was able to do day to day tasks, there was something he really wanted to do, so he made a list outlining two dreams.
“I wanted an arm.”
And the arm he wished for was for his second dream.
“I wanted to play football.”
And with that 20 yard kick, Caden’s dream became a reality.
“I just love football.”
It wasn’t easy convincing his mom to let him play but in doing so Caden has shown those around him that he belongs on the gridiron.
“I can do it all with my feet so, I’m very lucky. Rather than unlucky.”
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