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Purvis football player moves beyond limitations with prosthetic leg

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 11:27 AM CDT
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PURVIS, Miss. (WDAM) - A Pine Belt athlete is inspiring others by moving beyond limitations.

Ethan Belk, 14, is a football player at Purvis High School. The ninth grader is a running back, who doesn’t let his disability stop him from getting on the field.

“I was about 5 years old when it happened, and it was a lawn mower accident,” Ethan said.

Belk lost part of his leg, but his passion for sports remained. At such a young age, he quickly learned how to walk with his prosthetic leg.

“I don’t see myself differently,” Ethan said. “I see myself as a person that lost something, but I feel like I definitely inspire people.”

Purvis High School head football coach at Brad Hankins said Ethan is a great example for his teammates.

“The way he works in the weight room, every day at practice, the effort that he gives. It’s a pretty special deal to watch him work,” Hankins said.

Ethan is also making an impact off the field. His grandmother, Sheila Easterlin, is a breast cancer survivor. She says Ethan continues to prove anything is possible.

“He’s my hero,” Easterlin said. “I’m very proud of him. It’s been a tough few years, but I feel like God has blessed us both, and he’s truly an inspiration to me.”

While it hasn’t been easy, Ethan says he never gives up.

“I have had some pains throughout the years, but definitely if I get hurt I definitely get right back up,” Ethan said.

He says he will continue to overcome adversity.

“If you want to do something, just go after it and do it,” Ethan said.

“I just feel like God is using him, and he’s just going to use him even more in his life as he gets older,” Easterlin said.

Ethan said his long-term goal is to become a nutritionist and a personal trainer.

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