Red Fred Project

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Storyteller: Zeke Keating
Extraordinary Circumstance: Clubfoot, Autism
Book: Stop, Bully! Go, Buddy!

ZEKE KEATING is one of the bravest and most determined boys you could ever know. One foot in front of the other, he marches through life’s trials, never stopping to even consider giving up. He has boundless determination and refuses to be limited. Zeke’s condition is clubfoot. He has had 3 surgeries, as well as over thirty casts on his foot. Each cast stretches the tendons in his foot and ankle so his foot can work better. His biggest goal is to be able to walk and run like a normal eleven-year-old, without foot pain slowing him down. Unfortunately, his foot is as determined as his spirit and continues to revert to its previous shape, causing Zeke to fall frequently and necessitating more casting. He will mostly likely need an invasive surgery eventually. He also faces the social challenges inherent in the autism spectrum. While this condition is more of an invisible one, it affects his life day-to-day as he works to navigate the social settings both in and out of school. In spite of these difficulties, or perhaps in part due to them, Zeke remains determined to not give up! He loves playing outside with his friends and has even begun to play soccer with them. Zeke is also beginning to show an interest in art, both in viewing the works of others and in experimenting with his own art—like this book.