Caleb's dream of 2014 Paralympics: Still Alive
LAFAYETTE, WALKER COUNTY, GA (WRCB) -- A North Georgia teen whose dream is to compete in the 2014 Paralympics is a bit closer to achieving that dream!
Seventeen year old Caleb Stallings needed thousands of dollars to head to Colorado for a chance to train for the Paralympic Trials.
It seemed to be an impossible feat, but thanks to viewers, Caleb will get the chance of a lifetime.
"You hear people say they're on cloud nine, well we're on cloud 1,000,009. It's just unbelievable," said Caleb's father James.
A month ago when Channel 3 first met the Stallings family, James was nowhere near cloud nine.
He fought back tears, worried his son wouldn't be allowed the opportunity of a lifetime. Having lost his job a year ago, James couldn't afford it.
One month ago James said, "it's tearing me in two, I can't write the check for him. It makes you question your manhood. How good of a father are you if you can't do this for your son."
After that story ran, checks started pouring in from all over the region. Turns out James wasn't the only one who wanted Caleb to have a shot at Team USA's Paralympic Nordic Ski Team.
Caleb said, "for someone to see me on TV, or the newspaper and not know who I am, to have that much kindness in their heart to give. It's a very heart felt thank you."
James added, "I can't thank everybody enough, there's no words to form in my mouth to say thank you enough."
James and Caleb leave for Colorado Friday morning. It could be the start of something very big.
Caleb knows that and despite the nerves he stays true to his roots, solely believing this isn't about him, and it never will be.
"I'm not looking at trying to get famous, or big, or make money. I'm looking at this to be an inspiration for younger kids, and other people in wheelchairs. Use it as an inspiration tool, and witness tool," said Caleb.
"I think we've only just begun to see Caleb Stallings. In the future wider doors will open, and broad spectrums will open for him. He'll take that by the hand and travel through life, and become something we can all be proud of," said James.
Caleb will use the weekend to adjust to the high elevation.
He'll be there for 2 weeks. Week one is to train on the ski's. Week 2 he'll be evaluated by the coaches, and members of the training squad.
From there he'll likely be invited to a few world championship races before the paralympic trials start in 2013.