derek's big reveal!
Derek Ivan Claros is a 16 year old who was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Spina Bifida is part of a group of birth defects called neural tube defects. The neural tube is the embryonic structure that eventually develops into the baby's brain and spinal cord and the tissues that enclose them. Hydrocephalus is the buildup of fluid in the cavities (ventricles) deep within the brain. The excess fluid increases the size of the ventricles and puts pressure on the brain. Derek has been through 12 surgeries in his 16 years of life and the latest surgery for a shunt in his head required an extended stay for 40 days due to rejection. Derek uses crutches and a wheelchair on a daily basis interchangeably as he has no feeling in his lower extremities.
Derek and his family reside in Norcross in Gwinnett County. Derek has a passion of sports and doesn't let his disability deter him from excelling at his favorite sports. Derek has won medals in the Special Olympics and participates in Soccer, Hand Ball, Basketball and Swimming. Derek most recently played for the Gwinnett Heat Basketball team and in March 2016, his team advanced to the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs' state championship game for wheelchair basketball.
Derek is a 10th grader at Meadow Creek High School in Gwinnett County and aspires to be a sports broadcaster when he grows up. His favorite Soccer team is Real Madrid and his favorite soccer athlete is Ronaldo. Derek's life is powered by his belief to always trust the Lord and reach for his dreams. Overcoming many obstacles, Derek is a true inspiration to all.