LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Since birth, he's been told by so many people he "can't." But he is proving every one of them wrong.
When Grant plays drums, it is loud and powerful. And if you're lucky enough to be in the room, you can literally feel the drumbeat.
"I love it," Grant tells us.
His face reveals his passion. Sitting right here on this throne is exactly where he belongs.
"Byron has taught me a lot," Grant reveals. "A lot of drum movements, he's a great teacher."
Grant is like any teenager. He worries he's messing up, and he frets over how it all sounds. He's self conscious, which is nothing remarkable for a boy his age. But what makes him so extraordinary is what you don't know. At birth, Grant was diagnosed with a rare condition.
"The doctor automatically knew he had a condition called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita," explains Grant's mother, Westy Leslie.
On theMiracle League field, Grant plays out his other passion of baseball. This is where you can clearly see the effects of his diagnosis.
Grant was born without specific muscles. He can't bend his arms or his feet, and he's endured countless surgeries and therapies. It's nearly a miracle that he can even play baseball, that he can beat the drums at all.
"I didn't think I was ever gonna be able to play an instrument," Grant recalls. "But I sat down one day and started jammin. Got better and better everytime I played."
Now, playing drums is Grant's therapy. It's good not only for the muscles he does have, but also for his soul.
"Yea, it basically just makes me forget about the troubles of the day," Grant shares.
"He doesn't let anything get in the way of doing what he wants to do," his mother says.
She also adds that from a very early age, Grant never gave up. His talent on the drums is no surprise to her. Thinking of what her son faces is, at times, heartbreaking.
"He's a blessing from God," Westy says. "He's asked before, why is he this way? And I said, 'you were made this way for a reason and one day you'll find out why.'"
"It makes me wanna push and try harder," Grant says. "Watching better drummers than me, it makes me feel like I wanna be better than them. So I keep pushing myself."
Pushing louder, more powerfully, and in his own incredible way.
Grant Leslie, letting nothing stand in his way. Dreaming big.
"His dream is to be a rockstar," Westy says. "He wants to make it big, so I hope it works out for him (laughs)!"
Grant is playing drums at a big Miracle Leaguefundraiser and major league players, likeCliff Lee and AJ Burnett, will be there to watch. It's December 6 at 6:30pm At Dickey Stephens park. All money raised goes to help the Miracle League, which exists to give children like Grant a chance to play ball.