From The Daily Mail:
Tom Willis may have been born without arms or fully formed hands, but that did not stop him from taking the mound at the U.S. Cellular Field on Wednesday to throw the ceremonial first pitch of the game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers.
Willis, who performs most tasks – including pitching – with his feet has been traveling around the country as part of his Pitch for Awareness Tour, which is aimed at changing the public’s perception of people with disabilities.
‘I was born with this disability and my mother basically said, “Look, we’re not going to give you any special attention,”’ Willis told WLS-TV. ‘”You’re a member of the family and you’re going to do everything that everyone else does and I was not treated any differently.”’
Willis’ goal is to pitch at every major league stadium in the U.S. So far, the 53-year-old resident of San Diego, California, has thrown out 18 pitches on his tour, nine of which were strikes.
But according to Willis, what matters most is not his success on the mound, but rather getting his inspiring message out to the public.
‘Basically there are barriers out there, and it’s my job in my life to figure out how to get around them,’ he said.
According to Willis’ official site Tomsfeet.com, he was born without arms due to a genetic condition called congenital bilateral upper amputation.
nstead of a normal limb on his left side, he has a small appendage resembling a finger or a seal’s flipper, and he has no appendage of any kind on his right side.
As a young child, Willis also developed severe scoliosis affecting the spine which required a surgery to stop his torso from contorting.
Due to his lack of functioning arms, Willis learned to do everything with his feet, including writing, dressing, cooking and even driving a car specially rigged with foot steering controls.