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"I was born with half a body but refuse to let my disability hold me back and can run, cook and dance"

A man born with half a body says he refuses to let his disability hold him back and can run, cook, dance and walk his dog - without legs and an arm.

Tim Mason, 25, is able to live fully independently and loves to walk his dog, cook, dance and work out on his treadmill - despite having no legs.

He was born in Moscow, Russia, with no lower limbs and one arm and put in an orphanage - where they thought he was unlikely to ever be adopted.

Tim was told by doctors that his biological mother was exposed to high amounts of radiation following the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986 - causing his disabilities.

At three years old Tim was adopted by Virginia Mason, 80, a retired non-profit CEO, who knew she wanted to be his mum as soon as she saw him.

Virginia came over to Russia after reading about Tim and was told by the head of the orphanage that he would not have a good quality of life.

Virgina lost her partner when Tim was seven-year-old and raised him as a single mum.

Now Tim lives in Hartford, Connecticut, US, and wants to show others that having half a body doesn't hold him back.

Tim, works as a student success team member at the Napa Valley Wine Academy, said: “People think that disabled people cannot exercise, but we can all do it.

“Exercise is for anyone.

“People don’t realise that I’m not just sitting in my room as a triple amputee.

“I love exercise and it keeps me healthy both physically and mentally

“I wake up every day and fight on.

"My independence is the thing I’m most grateful for."

Despite being told Tim wouldn’t have a good quality of life, Virginia knew Tim would be fine.

“She knew I would be fine as I looked over and made fish faces at her,” Tim said.

“She was very happy to find me.”

Tim came over to America when he was three and started speaking English as soon as he got there.

“I went to elementary school and I just skyrocketed,” he said.

“I was really active and always played on the playground.”

When he was younger, Tim had prosthetics and had to use a walker and crutch to move forward.

“I really didn’t like them, they weren’t me,” he said.

“I wanted to be myself without them.

His mum supported his choice and stopped the prosthetics.

When he was in elementary school, Tim didn't have an issue making friends, but started to struggle as he reached his teen years.

“One thing that has been limited is forming relationships," he said.

“Growing up was like a rollercoaster.

“Middle and high school is when I started to notice the impacts my disabilities have on making friends.

“I would get asked ‘who would even date you?’”

But now Tim is surrounded by loving friends and family and ignores any negative comments.

"There is a lot of doubt in what I can do,” Tim said.

“It can be discouraging.

“But I am here and making it through. I have seen so many positive comments and it means the world to me.

“People are scared to ask questions.

“I get asked questions like why I was born like this and general questions about my condition.

“I am frequently asked how do I go the bathroom which I find hilarious.”

Now Tim focuses on the positives in his life and loves to show people that 'life is as normal as he makes it'.

Dog walking, dancing and exercising are some of his favourite hobbies.

“I really strive to prove people wrong so a lot of my hobbies have come from that,” he said.

“People thought I wouldn’t be able to take care of a dog but he is my best friend.

“I love to walk my dog.

“I fully take care of him and take him on three walks a day.

“The only thing I need help with is driving him to the vet.”

He started his gym routine a year and a half ago, saying he really focuses on his movement.

“I use the treadmill for about 10-30 minutes and I do my own version of weight-lifting and crunches,” he said.

“Exercising is an amazing hobby, I lost 40 pounds in 2021.”

Despite not letting his disability hold him back, Tim has noticed the impact his condition has on dating.

“Dating is hard in this generation, people see disabilities on your online profiles and base you off that," he said.

“They don’t see the powerful person I see.”