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Wrestlemania headliner inspires local teenager battling Spina Bifida

Ask 15-year-old Shane Kaufman who his favorite wrestler is, and it’s an easy answer.

“Favorite Wrestlemania Star, Drew McIntyre, obviously,” explains Shane.

Just look at this shirt and his collection.

So with Drew wrestling Bobby Lashley for the WWE Championship Saturday night here in Tampa, Shane’s prediction is Drew winning.

“You know what? I gotta say my boy, Drew.”

Shane loves Drew’s finishing move, the Claymore Kick. What is a Claymore Kick?

“Take your foot up, WHAM kick right in the head,” explains Shane.

This Wrestlemania is going to be great because Shane gets to watch it with his stepdad Josh.

They only met a year ago, but a pandemic didn’t stop Josh from marrying Shane’s mom last fall.

Shane Kaufman WWE.png

“I wouldn’t change it. If anything I would’ve tried, would’ve wished the cards would have put me there sooner,” explains Josh.

Because in Shane, Josh sees a strength greater than anything found inside a wrestling “ring.”

“I mean he’s gone through 44 surgeries in 15 years,” says Josh. “I don’t think I could keep the same upbeat and happiness.”

A form of Spina Bifida has Shane confined to, but not defined, by a chair.

“He will find that one glimpse of happiness in a situation and roll with it,” explains Shane.

Shane is part of a non-profit called Wheelchairs 4 Kids. They serve the Tampa Bay area helping underprivileged kids get wheelchairs or wheelchair-accessible equipment.

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