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Keller Boy Swims Toward 2016 Paralympics

10-year-old with sacral agenesis has sights on Olympic medal

By Omar Villafranca
|  Friday, Aug 3, 2012  |  Updated 9:31 AM CDT
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A 10-year-old Keller boy who is a big Michael Phelps fan dreams of swimming in the 2016 Paralympics.

Omar Villafranca, NBC 5 News

A 10-year-old Keller boy who is a big Michael Phelps fan dreams of swimming in the 2016 Paralympics.

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At 10 years old, Cody McCasland swims like a fish.

He's fast and tireless. And the Keller boy has his sights on an Olympic medal.

But it's what he's missing that makes everything in the pool so inspirational.

Cody was born with sacral agenesis, a very rare defect that affects the lower spine. Because of the defect, Cody was born without knees and shinbones.

"When he was 15 months old, we chose to have them amputate his legs so that there was a possibility for him to walk and have an active lifestyle," said Tina Dean, his mother.

The surgery hasn't slowed down Cody.

"He's done gymnastics, he's done sled hockey, he's done soccer," Dean said. "But his favorite sport that he's kind of stuck with and been doing since he was 9 months old is swimming."

At the Keller Natatorium, Cody swims his laps four times a week.

He's not the kind of kid that horses around in the pool like other kids his age. He focuses on his technique and breathing, while his prosthetic legs sit outside the pool.

His favorite swimming styles are freestyle and backstroke.

Cody hopes to swim in the 2016 Paralympics for Team USA.

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