Teen with rare disease serves as inspiration to pro athletes

EMBED </>More News Videos

A Southern California teen suffering from a rare disease is serving as inspiration to pro athletes and others as he fights to make the most of every day. (KABC)

A Southern California teen suffering from a rare disease is serving as inspiration to pro athletes and others as he fights to make the most of every day.

Ben Sikorra suffers from Batten Disease, a rare disorder that can cause blindness and mental impairment and can be terminal.

But he hasn't let the disease stop him from working out hard at Proactive Sports Performance in Westlake Village, inspiring many of the pro athletes who also train there.

"The lesson we learn is about perseverance and enjoying life and having a good time," said Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, who trains at the facility.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Griffin, who grew up in Southern California, has known Ben since childhood.

"I hope people can see this and see that no matter what's going on, you've got it good and always be thankful," Griffin said.

For Ben's family, unfortunately, this is not their first experience with Batten's Disease. His brother John also experienced Batten's.

Similarly, the disease did not stop John's passion for baseball. He even got a chance to spend some time with the Los Angeles Dodgers before passing away in September at age 24.

Ben is looking ahead to the future. After graduating from Agoura High School, he is set to attend California Lutheran University. He wants to help teach the football team there about strength and conditioning.

For Ben's father Joe, seeing his son work so hard gives him a new appreciation for life.

"Batten's makes you keenly aware that life is precious," Joe Sikorra said. "The more recognition how fragile and precious this life is, the more you're inspired to live fully each day and not take it for granted."

More information about Batten Disease and donating to research on the disease is available at the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation website.
Related Topics:
societymedicalhealthfitnessWestlake VillageVentura CountyLos Angeles County
(Copyright ©2016 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments