The story of Caleb Stallings, former GNTC’er and one special young man.
Walker County, GA (WRCB) — Surviving against the odds is not enough for Caleb Stallings. This teen wants to be among the best in the world at whatever he does.
He’s been in a wheel chair for 13 years, he’s battled homelessness along the way, but still his outlook leads you to believe his life is perfect.
That’s the thing; in his eyes life is perfect, and now he’s just a few steps away from debuting in the 2014 Paralympics.
“He does not have can’t, no, you will not, that’s nowhere in his vocabulary, in his mind, his sole or the very fiber of his being does he ever know the meaning of quit or don’t,” said his proud father James Stallings.
Courtesy WRCB-TV Chattanooga, TN
James has watched his 17 year old son Caleb defy the odds since 1998 when a horrific wreck nearly killed him and paralyzed Caleb from the waist down.
To Caleb life just started over again after the wreck, he’s not just his father’s inspiration he’s a world class hunter who once dragged himself 70 yards to stalk and kill a wild boar.
“The whole universe is about adaptation, we’re evolving, you have to learn how to adapt and use your disability to the fullest,” said Caleb.
Next on his to do list, Caleb has an invite to try out for the U.S. Paralympic Nordic Ski Team in Breckenridge, Colorado.
James said, “I’ve never seen him this dedicated, this focused, this determined, this excited about anything in his life.”
He’s training six days a week for three hours before school, the trials start in December.
This may be the one thing Caleb will have to accept that he can’t do. James was laid off last year, at one point they were homeless.
Now they have a roof to sleep under, clothes to wear, and food to eat, but that’s it. James doesn’t have the $8,000 needed to send Caleb to the Colorado.
James fought back tears and said, “as a dad I’m supposed to be the provider, this is an opportunity of a lifetime. It’s tearing me apart because I just can’t pull out a checkbook and send him. It makes me question my manhood. What kind of a father can’t do this for his son?”
Caleb added, “if I can get there, raise the funds. If I make it there, I’m not gonna let anybody down.”
Caleb says he doesn’t want to do this for himself but for those who come after him. To show other paraplegics that life is simply what you want to make of it, no matter what the circumstances.
Caleb said, “I have the opportunity to reach a community that an able body can’t reach. I can talk to them and motivate them. Show them that life is a ride, you just have to persevere and get through it. Just roll with it.”
Caleb has one month to raise the money. The Rotary Club in LaFeyette is working on a benefit diner.
The family has set up a bank account at the Bank of LaFayette.
Caleb Stalling benefit for Paralympic Trials
Bank of LaFayette
101 West Patton St
P.O. Box 1149
LaFayette, GA 30728