Diego Mercado was born as an amputee, but you wouldn’t know it from watching him. A recent video displays how the 10-year-old-boy from San Antonio, Texas perseveres through his disability.
Born without his right leg and two fingers on his right hand, Mercado is seen working out with retired Marine and fellow amputee Jose Sanchez in the video. Mercado and Sanchez have been training together for months, and the video documents their routine, which includes push-ups, runs, and pushing tires.
Sanchez, who lost his leg in Afghanistan, surprised Mercado by joining him in a workout and the two have continued to inspire each other ever since through mutual determination and sweat. Diegos father, a captain in the US Army, explained that Sanchez “was trying to show Diego he can rise above his own hardships” through the workouts. Diego’s dream is to be in the military despite the hurdles he will have to overcome. His training with Sanchez, which include the veteran’s shouts of “Push it!” and “Good job, man!”, has motivated Diego to, in his words, just keep going” amid his limitations.
Diego’s father, who started the nonprofit Team Diego to help veterans and children with disabilities, said that his son has a prosthetic and he overcame his own challenges. The video shows Diego learning how to jump rope, which lead to a beam of pride from his father and is sure to inspire others, no matter the challenge they face.