Young NY ballplayer excels despite partial paralysis - FOX 10 News |

Young NY ballplayer excels despite partial paralysis

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The first baseman of little league team the Clarkstown Stars has a special technique on the field: Dylan Olsen catches with his left hand, takes off the glove, and then throws with his left hand, too.

Using the same hand to catch and throw has proven effective for Olsen, 12, of Rockland County, N.Y., but the move was born out of necessity. A stroke left Dylan partially paralyzed on his right side. He had the stroke either in the womb or just after birth, his mother said.

The partial paralysis didn't stop Dylan from becoming a sports fanatic and exceeding expectations on and off the field. His nickname is "Vacuum" because he sucks up everything hit or thrown to him.

Never satisfied with good enough, Dylan is constantly striving to get stronger. He just wrapped up an intensive therapeutic day camp at the Teachers College at Columbia University where he had to keep his left arm in a sling to force himself to use his right. In just three weeks he learned to bounce a basketball with his right hand.

But Dylan's focus goes beyond improving his own game. What he really wants is to help others. He said he wants to prove to little kids who need motivation that they can do whatever they want if they just put their mind to it.

Up next for Dylan: entering the 7th grade, when he plans to try out for soccer and basketball. But ultimately he hopes to coach sports himself one day.


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