Young man refuses to let his condition define him

West Virginia

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — Jason Bednarski is a 15-year-old boy living with muscular dystrophy — a condition that causes muscles to get progressively weaker. But his diagnosis hasn’t stopped his motivation for achieving his goals after high school.

“I’m trying to do some college classes and maybe go to college at Shephard or WVU to be an engineer or a sports medical physician,” said Jason. He’s an avid lover of building with Legos, and would often participate in sports from football to soccer to swimming.

Jason’s doctors knew he was eager to do anything to get himself up and moving, so they recommended him for “Team Impact”, a national program that connects children with disabilities to college athletic programs.

“Jason’s doctor — Dr. Ware, there, through WVU Medicine — was familiar with that program, had contacts down at Shephard, and he was able to arrange that pairing between Jason and the Shephard rams football team,” said Brian Bednarski, Jason’s father.

“Which was great, and he was always funny and helpful to everyone- and cool to be around,” said Jason.

Jason was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in the first grade. While the condition is typically genetic, in rare cases like Jason’s it can occur spontaneously. But he says the last nine years have taught him a lot about perseverance.

“[I had to] figure out how to use stuff to help me overcome a challenge. My other great strength is being tough,” said Jason.

With his family by his side, Jason has been able to overcome a lot — and he’s done it all with an optimistic attitude.

“Our lives kinda revolve around, you know, that — and I mean that in the most positive way,” said Brian. “In the face of plenty of obstacles in life, and there’s not a day that goes by that he doesn’t have a smile on his face.”

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