Child Amputee helps others and dreams of becoming a soldier

by Melissa Vega, News 4 San Antonio Monday, May 23rd 2016

SAN ANTONIO -- 10 year old Diego Mercado is destined to make a difference. Mercado was born without his right leg and only two fingers on his right hand.

Despite his challenges, he's on a mission to inspire others. He's made several videos, including one with millions of views, where he's flipping a massive tire with a Marine who lost his leg in Afghanistan.

Diego tells News 4 San Antonio when he was younger he wanted to become a solider just like his dad. "He'd see me put the uniform on every day, and he's like, 'Dad, I want my own uniform,'" said Captain Jason Mercado.

Captain Mercado is currently stationed at Fort Sam Houston. He says because of his son only having one leg and two fingers on one hand, he really didn't think about Diego in the military.

"At some point I maybe wanted to tell him that maybe he can't join the military because of his challenge," added Mercado.

Mercado went on to say everything changed at a Ride 2 Recovery wounded warrior event when Diego was six years old.

"As they passed, they saw Diego with a prosthetic sitting out front, and one by one they stopped, they stopped. That day I knew I didn't have to tell him because he saw those guys out there, they were still active duty guys doing it," Mercado added.

Diego and his dad have started a non-profit organization entitled Team Diego to help others.

"We say, wounded vets and special needs families, maybe insurance doesn't cover prosthesis, maybe they just need to be inspired by something," Mercado went on to say.

Diego tells News 4 San Antonio he's continue doing what he loves, "playing Army", and riding his bike to raise money.

"Just looking at him now. The potential is endless," added Mercado.

As for Diego, his advice for everyone is "don't give up, and keep on going."

For the Team Diego Official Website CLICK HERE:

Here are some additional links to Diego's Facebook page and Instagram:

Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/diego4warriors

Diego's Instagram:

www.instagram.com/diego4warriors

 

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