Born with congenital limb differences, Ezra Frech came into this world missing his left knee, left fibula and fingers on his left hand.
His parents were determined to give their child a normal life, so he underwent surgery to remove the lower part of his leg and transplant a toe to his left hand.
As soon as he was old enough, Frech received a prosthetic leg that opened him up to the world of sports, where he played basketball, soccer, football and track and field. With the encouragement and support of his parents, he found there was little he couldn’t do — and he set his eyes on the Paralympics.
“I gained a lot of confidence through sport,” he said. “Playing all those sports, making all those friends, all those experiences have all shaped who I am today.”
"LA Stories" host Giselle Fernandez revisits her conversation with Frech, who opens up about his journey to the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, where he competed in both the long jump and high jump as the youngest member of Team USA.
While he fell short of a medal, Frech came away from the experience more determined than ever to win, which he plans to do in the 2024 Games in Paris and then again in his hometown of Los Angeles in 2028.
Frech hopes to prove to all children with disabilities that nothing is impossible.
“Go after that dream, give it everything you have and make it happen because, at the end of the day, we truly have the fate of our potential in our hands.”
Throughout his journey to the Paralympics, Frech and his parents quickly realized there was very little opportunity for people with disabilities in LA to participate in sports.
In order to ensure that everyone had access to sports, they created Angel City Sports. The nonprofit provides year-round free adaptive sports opportunities for kids, adults and veterans with physical disabilities or visual impairments.
The opportunity to give back to the disabled world through sports is everything.
"To see how much it's grown, the lives that have been impacted, it truly gives everything we do a purpose now,” said Frech. “If I can provide any positive impact in that way, then I've done my job.”
Watch "LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez" at 9 p.m. every Monday on Spectrum News 1.