Celebrity amputee shares his story in Sherman

By: Stephanie Brletic Email
By: Stephanie Brletic Email

SHERMAN, TX -- An actor from California who is also an amputee was in Sherman on Wednesday to show those in similar situations there is light at the end of the tunnel. Stephanie Brletic spent the day with John Siciliano.

Most of us take our mobility for granted, but fifteen years ago, John Siciliano was in a terrible car accident that challenged that view and made him realize there is life after tragedy.

Just 22-years-old and living in small-town Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, John Siciliano was active and ready to take on life until a car accident changed everything.

"Theater, journalism, soccer, drama, jock guy, and thought I was invincible. I went out on a Tuesday night and was in a Jeep with no doors, no roof, and a drunk driver ran a red light."

The accident left him in the hospital and without one leg, but he didn't let that stop him.

Siciliano says a brochure helped open doors to keep his dreams alive.

"It was literally a physical therapist there who gave me a brochure of amputees running track and when I got that brochure it was 'I can run on these things, and what is this?' I put that brochure up and everyday I would look at that brochure and maybe someday that could be me."

Siciliano saw one of the athletes in the brochure run in person, and it gave him the motivation to live life to the fullest and even go onto compete in the Paralympics Games.

"You know, I became the fasted above the knee amputee in the country. When would a 5'8'' Italian kid be the fastest sprinter? It made me grow up and it motivated me, made me appreciate it."

On Tuesday, Siciliano returned the favor, by meeting people dealing with limb-loss at Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics in Sherman.

Manager Steve Prock says many do not realize there are options until they meet someone like Siciliano.

"We saw a lady just two hours ago that ran for the very first time in the hallway. She's 70 years old, and we would've never thought about her running. We were just happy to get her up and get her going. He had her running in the hall."

But running isn't Siciliano's only passion. He is also an accomplished actor, starring in a Nike commercial, playing on television’s ER, and even as Pokey the Pirate in The Spongebob Squarepants Movie.

Siciliano uses his own experiences to show others there is hope, something many people find at Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics.


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