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The Impossible Archer

Reported by: Amanda Stevenson
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Updated: 5/08/2013 5:57 am
In a group of young archers, there's one boy who stands out from the crowd.

And it's not just because of his mohawk.

Matthew Saylor is one of fifty-four members of Richmond's NASP (National Archery in Schools) team, helping them win first place in a regional tournament; second in states.

Behind the talent, though, is an unseen problem.

Matthew has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a disease of the connective tissue in his body.

"It's like a rubber band that you stretch, and it doesn't go back into its shape. It just keeps stretching and stretching and stays loose," explained his mother, Michele Saylor, "Every day, he's hurting somewhere. He'll say his hands hurt, his leg hurts, his stomach hurts, his neck hurts."

Everyday tasks are a struggle for the 10-year-old--something as simple as writing can dislocate his thumb.

So when it came time to try out for sports, it didn't seem possible. But that didn't stop the team's coach from telling Matthew to try.

"Matthew's just one of many kids that have things they overcome...and he overcame it," said Jason Jacob, one of two coaches on the Madison County team.

Overcome it he did--Matthew is in the top twelve of his team. For the first time in his life, he's winning at something.

"I feel very happy. Didn't know I could do it, but I feel very good getting that medal," he said.
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