GALT, Mo—For a year now, a Northern Missouri boy has been showing his prized Wooly and Roo, show sheep, in a most unique way. Due to his cerebral palsy, 9 year old Layton Stonger is in a wheel chair most of the time, but he’s not letting that hold him back. Click play below to listen to KMZU’s Ashley Johnson visit with Layton and his mother, Jenna Wynne:
Layton was diagnosed with the disabling disease just after his first birthday and received his first wheelchair between 3½-4 years old. Cerebral palsy is a permanent disorder that he will live with for the rest of his life.
Despite the hard facts, Layton has made the decision to live life to the fullest and even when he’s in his chair, he’s still standing up and standing out, reaching toward greatness. All the while, he’s having a blast just being able to be like a normal kid.
“I use a wheelchair to show my sheep,” Stonger explained how he participates, “My grandpa Terry, he built this little deal that I can stick their heads in there and lead them around so, it’s pretty cool.”
Even Layton’s mother, Jenna Wynne, was faced with challenges when then 8 year old Layton, decided to compete in the public eye. Wynne said she is overly thrilled with the support she has seen throughout the 4-H community, especially when her initial fear was rejection.
“When we started showing it was very scary,” Wynne expressed her beginning fears, “Showing is really really competitive and I was not sure if people would accept him, I wasn’t sure if people would think he had an unfair
advantage, so it was scary.”
However relief came fairly quick, as it was soon made known how deeply supportive other 4-H families, local communities, and even fair goers would be toward Layton. Wynne said she was shocked to see Layton Facebook page grow to the extent that it has let alone the physical backing he sees daily.
“It is a huge relief and honestly, like his Facebook page is huge and I never dreamed it would be as big as it is. I just made it because he has like a pretty big little fan club in Trenton and Galt so I just wanted people to be able to keep up with him and it’s become huge. It’s so; it’s really heartwarming to know that that many people care.”
Layton will be out at the Sullivan County Premium Sale Wednesday, September 23, 2015. Make your way out to the Green City Livestock Auction at 7 p.m. in Green City, Missouri to show your support. You can also follow Layton on Facebook at The Life of Layton where you will also find more details about the premium sale.
Layton left us with a final thought…
“If I could tell them one thing I would say, just get out there, have fun, it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, just… follow your dreams.”