MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF/CNN) – The 9-year-old Ohio boy who stole a lot of hearts when he threw out the first pitch at a Myrtle Beach Pelicans game last month took any even bigger step last week.
In fact, it was several of them.
Gabe Davis was born with a rare congenital disability that left his legs underdeveloped and limited his motor skills. Last week, he took his first steps using a new pair of prosthetic legs, bringing him closer to his dream of becoming a professional baseball player.
The condition is called proximal femoral focal deficiency. Gabe was born without tibias and feet that were not large enough to walk on.
In March and April 2016, Gabe underwent his two most serious surgeries. He spent the summer in physical therapy and tried on his prosthetic legs for the first time in October.
He spent the past few months learning how to comfortably use them. Last week, Gabe was able to take his first steps on his own.
Now, after his 14th surgery in six years, Gabe is finally able to pursue his dream on the baseball field in his new hometown of Berea, Ohio.
"Gabe is perseverant. He just doesn't quit. When he gets something in his head he just won't stop," Ryan Davis, Gabe's father, said. "We just had to figure out how to help him do this."
After recovering from his most recent surgery, Gabe was finally ready to join a team.
This spring, he joined the Berea Tigers Little League team as a pitcher and catcher.
He played sitting on the ground, without his prosthetic legs.
Last month, Gabe was in Myrtle Beach with his family for his brother's baseball tournament. One stop during that trip was TicketReturn.com Field, where the 9-year-old threw the ceremonial first pitch right across the plate before getting to meet the members of the Pelicans baseball team.
The young man, who was adopted by the Davis family from Ghana six years ago, aspires to go on to play in the major leagues one day -- and his athletic dreams extend beyond baseball.
"My big dream is to be in the Paralympics for Ghana or the USA," Gabe Davis said. "But I want to play track!"