Martel was born without shin bones, a rare abnormality known as tibia hemimelia. At 18 months, he lost portions of both his legs.”I was born without a tibia in my bones,” Martel told MaxPreps. “I had my legs and feet. If they wouldn’t have amputated my legs, I wouldn’t have been able to play football.”
As a child, Martel used drink koozies as legs so that he could run across the living room like an athlete.”From then on, we knew that he was going to be able to participate in sports and do other things,” his father Joe Martel Jr. said to MaxPreps.