“My name is Isaiah Bird. I have no legs, but that’s okay, because God made me that way. I’m a Gladiator, and there are no excuses.” Courtsey: ESPN
His father has spent significant time in prison, and his parents have previous domestic violence charges against each other. He lives in a homeless shelter in a church in Glen Cove, NY, with his mother and younger brother.
Miguel Rodriguez, his wrestling coach with the Long Beach Gladiators, has more roles in Isaiah’s life than one could ever imagine. Rodriguez serves as Isaiah’s guide through a heartwarming and miraculous journey.
He carries Isaiah into the car each morning, brings him to get breakfast, assists him at school, and shelters him with food, warmth and safety each night.
Rodriguez spends each day with Isaiah at Lido Elementary school in Long Beach. As his teaching assistant, he's remains with him in the classroom, at lunch, in the library and, of course, on the wrestling mat.
Rodriguez has learned to use Isaiah's excitement for wrestling to help him develop academically after starting school later than most.
Isaiah, who was born in East Meadow, placed third in his age group and weight class at the New York Kid Wrestling Championships at Bay Shore in March, then finished sixth in a national tournament in New Jersey known as "War at the Shore."
“My name is Isaiah Bird. I have no legs, but that’s okay, because God made me that way. I’m a Gladiator, and there are no excuses.”