NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – It was not the birthday present Wes Hall was expecting as he entered high school.
"It is not something you want to hear right before your 15th birthday,” the Wilmington native said.
Doctors told Hall he had to get his right leg amputated because of bone cancer. That day changed his life forever.
“I did some soul-searching and realized life is a little more important than having a leg," Hall said.
His love for kayaking came years later when he and a friend decided to take a kayak trip.
“We paddled and we loved it. From that point we got hooked,” Hall said.
From there, his passion for the sport grew and now he has his eyes set on the 2016 Paralympic games in Rio de Janeiro.
"The race course is right below the Christ statue mountain,” he said. “The scenery alone is enough to put a lump in your throat."
Although it will take three years of triumphant trials to get to Brazil, loved ones say Hall’s mindset will see him through.
"He sets his mind to something and he works hard,” Hall’s wife Amy said. “There's nothing he can't do and I think that is a good message for everyone.”
Amy said the family is going to start saving-up so if Wes does make it to the Games, the whole family will be there to cheer him on.
Friday evening Hall hosted a fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings in Monkey Junction to bring him closer to making his dream a reality.
Funds raised will help him pay for equipment and travel costs.