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Kids With Courage: Shea Roeder

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- KTTC is honored to introduce viewers monthly to some of the youngest among us, facing the unthinkable with bravery and optimism. In our 11th "Kids With Courage" segment, Caitlin Alexander introduces us to 3-year-old racing fan, Shea Roeder from Racine.

We first met Shea at Limb Lab in Rochester, a place that aims to improve function, health, and quality of life for people through the use of prosthetics. Shea works with the staff there on his right leg.

Shea is very active!

Parents Nikki and Cole Roeder learned during pregnancy that Shea had an abnormality. It left him with issues on his right side. He has a shorter leg and a foot that didn't fully form.

"It was pretty tough to take right away thinking, you know, for your kids, you want them to be able to do everything and anything," Cole said.

They didn't know at the time just how lively Shea would become as he grew. He is as capable as his peers and is always on the go.

"He keeps up with the best of them sometimes," Nikki said.

Shea is passionate about all sorts of things, like baseball and superheroes, even demonstrating his Spiderman web-shooting skills for us.

The team at Limb Lab was able to make Shea his very own Avengers device that he wears like a boot.

His family was shocked to learn Limb Lab had a unique connection to racing.

Nikki works at Deer Creek Speedway. That means Shea and his two siblings spend a lot of time there watching races.

"It took us awhile at first when we first came in," Nikki recalled. "I noticed Brandon, I was like, 'Oh, I recognize that guy. I know who that is!'"

Brandon Duellman competes in racing and just so happens to be the prosthetic and orthotic resident who works closely with Shea at Limb Lab.

"They'll come down and visit their favorite racers, and one of them happens to be me," Duellman said with a laugh.

Duellman works to keep Shea's left leg and device on the right the same height, so he doesn't develop back or hip issues.

Shea and Brandon at the race track

This summer, Duellman won a race that landed him a trophy.

"[I] asked him if he wanted it, and his eyes pretty much popped out of his head, and then he got really, really shy and was like, 'Is it really mine?'" Duellman recalled.

Shea is always excited to visit Limb Lab, because it means visiting one of his favorite drivers.

Those who know and love Shea know his prosthetic will never slow him down.

"I hope that he does something big, and I think he will. I think he'll play baseball or he will wrestle. He will do great at whatever he does," said Shea's daycare provider Lisa Petersen.

Maybe our Kid With Courage will even race like Duellman some day.

"There are people out there who can do it with any kind of disability and if he wants to pursue it, he definitely can," he said.

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Caitlin Alexander

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