WINTER GARDEN, Fla. — It’s a big day at Foundation Academy as the entire school floods into the gym, all to celebrate one student, Justin Williams.
What You Need To Know
- Justin Williams was born with Aperts Syndrome, a disorder that caused his extremities to not form while he was in the womb
- He underwent 12 surgeries, and is able to play basketball as a senior for Foundation Academy
- Justin uses his story to inspire others around him in his community
The crowd chants, “We want Justin,” as his smiling family looks on.
“I never thought we’d be sitting here with the whole school honoring him,” said Stacy Williams, Justin’s mom.
Justin is a senior at Foundation Academy who has inspired everyone around him since day one.
“It’s nice to get his story out," said Stacy. "I think we are ready for the world to learn about what disability Justin has and what these kids kind of go through because it is rare and we just love him."
Justin’s story started 18 years ago when he was born with Aperts Syndrome, a genetic disorder that caused his outer extremities to not form while he was in the womb.
“So as you go through life you have to have the surgeries to separate the fingers and the toes, if you choose, and the head to allow it to grow so you don’t get brain damage and things like that,” said Stacy.
Twelve surgeries later and Justin is thriving.
“Justin is what I would call the heart and the soul of our basketball team,” said Nathaniel Hughes, Foundation Academy’s head basketball coach.
“I love the sport because it allows me to show my abilities and show all of the hard work I have put in,” said Justin.
As a member of the varsity basketball team, he constantly puts in the work no matter what.
“I feel like if anyone can do it, I can do it," he said. "If it takes me a little longer to do it, I will do it. I just want to get the job done."
“He never complains, never makes excuses," said Hughes. "Always has a good attitude — all of the things he would want in a basketball player."
Justin said he tries to be an everyday example of someone who is sharing an important message.
“Just never give up and do the things to the best of your ability, " he said. "Whenever anyone doubts you or says you can do this, just do it to the best of your ability and it will work out."