A Little Soldier's Big Dream--How a boy found inspiration and turned it into a non-profit.

You never know where inspiration will com from. For 10-year-old Diego Mercado, it was a fundraising run for wounded veterans that he found the beginning of his dream. At only 6 years old, Diego looked up to his father, Captain Jason Mercado, and said "Dad, they have prosthetics like me!" Diego, who has adaptive challenges due to the amputation of one leg and several fingers, saw for the first time people with the same limitations he has and realized that they were able to do great things.

This meant he could do great things too!

Diegomeets disabled vets often through Team Diego.

Inspired by this realizatioin and the lifelong exposure to the military service because of his Vet dad, Diego set his mind on a dream: to be an officer in the United States military.

With that dream in mind, Diego and Jason began participating in 5k races to raise money for prosthetics for wounded veterans and children. Soon Team Diego was born.

The nonprofit organization has been involved in many events to raise donations and awareness for their cause but perhaps the most significant activity is the one that stands as Diego's favorite has drawn international attention.

The video shows Diego working out with wounded Vet and fellow amputee, Jose Luis Sanchez. Despite their limitations, they are able to do push-ups, flip a large and heavy tire, and motivate each other to do their best.

TDJakes.com had the privilege of talking with Diego and his dad, Jason, and they shared a message of hope and determination. When recalling the troubles Diego had as a baby with his adaptive challenges, Jason shared the conflict he and his wife felt.

That philosophy is echoed in Diego and Jason's relationship. It is one of mutual trust and understanding. It is a relationship that works to pull inspiration from each other in order to feed both their dreams and the dreams of wounded vets and kids. It's a partnership that inspires the best in each other.

A lot can be learned from Diego's infectious optimism and desire to help others. We should remember that inspiration is best put to use when it is spread to other people. Like Diego does with his dad, we should look towards the motivators in our life for encouragement to follow our dreams and pass that enthusiasm on to others. Doing so will make the world a more positive and caring place where dreams are grown to accomplish good.

Diego's words to the readers of TDJakes.com were ones of hope and faith. He said if readers could take only one message away from the work Team Diego does, he hopes it is "be inspired and beleive in youself always."

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