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Edinburg teen with albinism fulfilling wrestling dreams

Edinburg teen with albinism fulfilling wrestling dreams
5 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Wednesday, January 17 2024 Jan 17, 2024 January 17, 2024 10:06 PM January 17, 2024 in News - Local

A freshman at Edinburg Vela High School lives with a rare genetic condition that only affects one in every 18,000 to 20,000 people.

Ethan Gonzales has albinism, meaning his body doesn’t produce melanin — the pigment that affects the color of your skin, hair and eyes. 

Gonzales has low vision because the ocular albinism affects his retina and nerve pathways in his eyes. This makes reading books and being outside in the sun difficult for him.

Despite those challenges, Gonzales wanted to get into sports.

“I know there's nothing I could really do to make myself not feel different, so I just do it,” Gonzales said. “If you want something, you're going to work towards it — no matter what obstacles were in your way."

Since outdoor sports weren't the right option for his vision, Gonzales turned to jiu-jitsu and wrestling.

As a varsity wrestler at his school, Gonzales placed third at a tournament in Corpus Christi this week.

Gonzales is also an honor roll student.

“I'd say my mental strength has gotten a lot better,” Gonzales said. “I used to be super scared of it, super scared that people would make fun of me, but nowadays, I never let that get in the way of what I want to do."

Watch the video above for the full story.  

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