Teen with Cerebral Palsy inspiring others to reach their goals

Posted at 5:28 PM, Feb 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-10 20:29:28-05

SAN DIEGO - Anyone who measures success by wins and losses...hasn't been to a Del Norte High School wrestling practice. One member of the team has achieved success on the mat, while still learning to stand up and walk.

Lucas Factor isn't just a wrestling coach at Del Norte High School.

"I was working as an instructional aid in Miss Mikolosko's special ed classroom critical skills," he said. 

And that's where he met Jonathan Garcia.

"Jon has Cerebral Palsy was born with Cerebral Pals. To even walk is a challenge for Jon," Factor said. "Doctors had told him he'd never stand on his own or walk."

Despite Jonathan's limitations, Factor believed his student would be a perfect fit for the wrestling team - and he was right.

Jonathan started out as the team manager but the overall goal was to one day compete on the mat. That goal was achieved last week when he competed in his first varsity match against nationally ranked Poway High School.

"Once he stepped out there I knew that he would give it his all," Factor said. "Regardless of the results he was a champion just by getting out there on the mat and willing to wrestle on the varsity spot against the toughest team around."

The story only gets better from there. After wrestling in his first varsity match last week, Jonathan earned a letter and a varsity letterman's jacket.

"I thank wrestling for saving my life," Jonathan said. "And teaching me how to not quit or give up."