You probably wouldn’t expect a kid to succeed in sports with only one arm, yet that is exactly what 12-year-old Aidan Duncan has done. Aidan, from Indianapolis, Indiana, was born with a partially formed left arm.

In an interview with the family, his mother, Mona Mulvany, stated, “We found out that his left arm was not developing. It could have been because of his umbilical cord wrapping around his arm, they’re not quite sure. They never did have an exact answer as to why this happened.”

A specialist predicted that Aidan would have difficulty running and maintaining his balance, but Aidan has proven him wrong by participating and excelling in many different sports: soccer, basketball, football, and baseball.

“For the All-Star team, I’m probably tied for first with the house league team. I’m probably the fastest player on the team,” said Aidan.

Aidan has been playing sports since he was five years old and notes that, while it “takes probably more effort, it  hasn’t been as rough as people think.”

“It takes a lot of hard work and effort. And you can’t really give up. You’ve got to keep your head up and not give up.”

Aidan also noted that his parents have “really kind of ignored the fact that I have one arm. They just treat me the same, as anyone else . . . it made it easier for me, made me feel more normal and stuff.”

His parents added that they treat him the same as his other two siblings. “Aidan doesn’t complain and he just goes through life – this isn’t an issue for him at all. And I want other kids to know that. And I want other people to know that when they see someone like Aidan, don’t think of disabled. Don’t think handicapped. He is incredibly able and can do anything that others can do.”

Aidan’s story has drawn the attention of his hero, Matt Carpenter, third baseman with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. Aidan was able to meet Carpenter in person and was given a signed bat.

Aidan also gave some advice for other kids who have similar challenges: “I would probably say that you can just – got to go through, never like ask why it happened or why you’re like this, you’ve just got to ignore that fact and keep your head up and if something goes wrong, just keep looking forward. Look to the future and never look back.”

A Beaverton resident, Madeleine Cook enjoys a passion for reading, running, and the arts. She is currently studying the Great Books at the University of Notre Dame and is interested in eventually teaching.