Leesburg man has amazing ability - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Leesburg man has amazing ability

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Lee County has produced some famous residents in recent years.  Luke Bryan has taken the country music world by storm.  Buster Posey just won his second World Series title with the San Francisco Giants.

Then, of course, there's Phillip Phillips.

But another Lee County resident recently made his national television debut as a guest on Anderson Cooper's nationally syndicated show.  That man is 22 year old Joshua Carter of Leesburg.

He's an ordinary guy with an ordinary job, working at Unverferth Manufacturing in Southern Dougherty County.  But as he was growing up, he noticed that he was different than his classmates.

"It was probably elementary school to middle school. I realized that I could touch my shoulders and nobody else could," he said.

After going to the doctor, he discovered that he had a condition known as cleidocranial dysostosis.

Dr. Troy Skidmore of the Phoebe Orthopaedic Specialty Group said, "it's a condition in where you can have defects in certain parts of the connective tissue in the body. In this circumstance, you're looking at bone, in where the clavicle may not form or may be shorter than it would be."

With no collarbone, Carter can squeeze into places that few other people can.  Like an eleven inch wide opening. 

It's a genetic condition, so he's not the only one in his family who has it.

"My sister, my mom and my mom's granddad," said Carter.

But overall it is rare.

"Extremely rare.  About one in one million," said Dr. Skidmore.

Many genetic defects can have serious health consequences, but fortunately this one is not generally harmful.

Dr. Skidmore said, "these people end up living normal lives, meaning in longevity."

The other potential problem would be social.  Sure it's great to be able to squeeze into your car when someone has parked close to you at the mall, but people with any condition that makes them different can be ostracized by their peers.

Not so for Carter's co-workers.  Their reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.

"They love it, they think it's really cool," he said.

If others with the condition suffer abuse from their peers, Carter has some advice.

"You've just got to roll with it and move on.  Because at the end of the day you're really a little cooler than they are," said Carter.

That seems like good advice for everyone, whether they have Joshua's special gift or not.

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