WILMINGTON - A Miami man lost part of his leg to a rare form of cancer. He traveled nearly 800 miles to Wilmington to get prostheses and will leave our area with much more. Joseph Bassett didn't think he'd be able to run when he came here to Wilmington a few days ago. Bassett said, "I actually put that thing on and I ran right off the bat, which is for me an incredible experience." Bassett was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in May of 2005. Part of his right leg had to be amputated. Bassett said, "When you're facing life and death and then the option is losing a limb, it's not that difficult of a thing." A good friend put Bassett put in touch with Atlantic Prosthetic Services owner Jeff McDonald. McDonald lives in Wilmington and understood Bassett's situation first-hand. "I got started in prosthetics after I actually lost my leg in a motorcycle accident," McDonald said. McDonald created three new legs for Bassett. Each allows for different functions. The third gives Bassett the ability to run. Bassett said, "For me it's a huge step. It's almost as big as taking the first step on a prosthetic the first time I walked again." McDonald said, "It was just so wonderful that it happened like it did here. We were high-fiving each other and we were screaming and watching him run." Running was a goal Bassett says he didn't have headed here, but an accomplishment he's thrilled to be leaving with. "If you want to bad enough, you can overcome it. You can definitely turn it around and make it work for you," Bassett said. Bassett says the best part about being able to run is the ability to play ball with his young son.
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