Canfield man pushes past obstacles to prove nothing can keep him from a full life

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Josh Kelley was born without both of his forearms and one leg -- but his life is more normal than doctors ever thought it would be

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – We’ve all faced challenges but have you ever experienced an obstacle that just seemed too big to get past? Josh Kelley, of Canfield, is missing both forearms and one leg.

He is a true inspiration and won’t let anything stop him from doing the things he loves.

Kelley was born without hands and a foot — but he learned to crawl anyway. He would grow up to do so much more than that.

His father served in the Vietnam War in 1969 and 1970. Kelley believes exposure to Agent Orange may have caused his birth defects.

It’s never been easy.

“Finding employment is really hard sometimes because a lot of people just look at me and assume I can’t do anything before they even give me a chance,” Kelley said.

He suffered through a number of family challenges and was homeless for nearly two years.

“Sometimes I would sleep out in the woods, or in my car or wherever I could find,” Kelley said.

But he turned his life around and moved to Canfield a year ago. He has a stable job now and is an avid fisherman.

“Even when I was born, the doctors said that there was no way that I was going to be able to have a normal life because they said I would never dress myself, drive a car or anything,” he said.

Kelley has exceeded all expectations.

“Now, not only will I drive a car, but I’ll build one first and then I’ll drive it,” he said.

He’s showing everyone no disability can stop someone from doing what they love.

“If you just give up, then, for sure, it’s not going to get better,” Kelley said. “But if you keep trying, then there’s always a chance you’ll come around one corner and there’s the answer right there.”

Kelley is working on getting his captain’s license so he can start a nonprofit fishing group for wounded veterans. He said the best is yet to come.

“If you start looking at all the positives that you have in your life instead of the negative, then more positives will start coming your way.”

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