Grace Under Pressure: Adrian Grajeda’s Save

By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor

Author’s Note: Grace Under Pressure is an ongoing series of posts honoring everyday people who courageously make positive differences in their own lives and consequently in the lives of others. It is my own personal affirmation that unexpected heroes live among us and that their service is quiet but unshakable proof that virtue really is its own reward  – and ours, too.

0410-Amputee-jpgTen-year-old Adrian Grajeda wants to become a professional soccer player someday. And he wants to do it for love of the game — not to be a hero.  Adrian can’t become a hero because he already is one. Six months ago the diminutive midfielder lost part of his leg when an inattentive driver crashed through a playground chain link fence and headed straight for one of Adrian’s schoolmates on the recess field. Without thinking, Adrian threw himself into a young girl standing directly in harm’s way and pushed her to safety but subjecting his right leg to a trauma that would require four surgeries and seven blood transfusions to regain just minimal use of the battered and mangled limb.

Three witnesses recounted Adrian’s deed but, in perhaps the cruelest aspect to this story,  the young boy has no recollection of his heroism. Still Adrian remains an inspiration. “He’s inspiring and he’s helping other people with challenges,” his mother Brandy Grajeda said. As for Adrian, he’ s not asking for any special favors. “I hope I can get better with my legs, so I can shoot better and get better at running,” Adrian said, “if you just sit inside all day feeling bad for yourself, you won’t get anything done.”

Adrian has a prosthetic leg that is not designed for running only walking.  His neighbors in Palm Desert, California are trying to raise enough money to buy a prosthetic leg that will allow Adrian to pursue his soccer dream. If you want to help,visit or

And lest you think Adrian has lost perspective on how lucky he is to be alive, just listen to this from a ten-year-old: “I mean I can’t really bend at the ankle, so I can’t shoot with my right foot but it’s cool because I can still walk,” Adrian said.

Somehow, I think we’ll being seeing Adrian at a World Cup match coming to a TV set near you. That kind of courage and persistence is hard to stop.


~Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor

Kudos to my law school classmate Tammy for the eagle-eyed edit.

11 thoughts on “Grace Under Pressure: Adrian Grajeda’s Save”

  1. Reblogged this on beebrock86's Blog and commented:
    This is an amazing story that is part of a series of posts about everyday heroes. So many of these amazing stories go unheard so I am very greatful to have found it while scrolling through Professor Turley’s blog. It is written by a weekend contributor of his blog, Mark Esposito. If you’re interested in legal matters or politics you should follow Professor Jonathan Turley’s blog. It’s very thought provoking, educational, and occasionally cute with pictures of dogs.

  2. adrian is what true heros are about.. God bless this young man and his family

  3. Well nick from what I hear you’re in control of most of that…. Get your people to get in board….

  4. Pretty sad that the hot button posts get numerous comments, much of it jibberish, but this great, positive thread doesn’t even get a perfunctory comment from almost everyone here. Too busy saving the world, I reckon.

  5. Just a couple weeks ago I learned of the Challenged Athlete Foundation, based in San Diego. A local high school soccer player lost his leg in a cycle accident. This foundation purchased a competitive prosthetic leg. It was of course, a heartwarming story. I will make a donation but also get word to the family about this resource. Mespo, I’ve enjoyed these posts and always am pleased to see a new one. Thanks.

  6. Adrian is one courageous young man. I pray for his healing and that he will be able to pursue his dreams of playing soccer.

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