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Kaleb Mearkle Named Most Courageous By Dapper Dan Group

February 16th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

Kaleb Mearkle will be the recipient of the 2015 Most Courageous Award at the 67th Annual Dapper Dan Awards Banquet to be held Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. at the Ali Ghan Shrine Club. 

In the eighth grade at Bethel Christian School in Oakland, he is 13 years old and resides in Grantsville with his family. 

Mearkle enjoys hunting and fishing with his dad and uncle, playing video games with his big brother and even baking with his mother, godmother and aunt. He is a junior cadet at the Bittinger Volunteer Fire Department under the watchful eye of Chief Justin Orendorf, who said, “Kaleb is an inspiration to everyone.”

He competes in bowling, bocce and swimming in Special Olympics. “He’s a natural,” said Stewart Holt, Special Olympics coach. “He is just an astronomical young man. He is not disabled — he just plays and lives with a handicap.”

Mearkle has played on the Clearville T-Ball team and with the Dapper Dan Little League Yankees. 

Born with a congenital deformity of the right leg that required a below the knee amputation when just an infant, he has proven to be a boy of determination and will. He not only has learned to live with his amputation and wearing his prosthesis but he has faced other health issues including seizures, gastrointestinal problems, and is being followed for heart and lung issues. 

Mearkle has faced numerous obstacles throughout his life but he finds a way and works hard on overcoming them. His “I can do it” attitude and determination have enabled him to enjoy life.

A patient at The Children’s League, he has been followed since he was 11 months old.

He sees League physician Dr. John Tis, pediatric orthopedic surgeon from Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Following surgery in December at Johns Hopkins, he is receiving physical therapy at The Children’s League.

Banquet tickets can be purchased at The Sports Shoppe 301-722-5490. 

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