Go, Jag! Jaganath Martin of Riverton, Utah

    “Go, Jag! Jaganath Martin of Riverton, Utah,” Friend, July 2007, 40–42

    Making Friends:

    Go, Jag! Jaganath Martin of Riverton, Utah

    Many of us have problems that can get in our way: poor eyesight, bad hearing, or perhaps crooked feet. Jaganath Martin, age 8, sees his problems as hurdles to fly over. Jag was born missing portions of his arms and legs.

    Learning to Walk

    “Mom, why do monkeys jump in trees?” Jag asked one morning.

    “I guess because they are just built that way,” his mom replied.

    “So when I get big, I can jump in trees too!” he exclaimed. He thought he would grow arms and legs as he grew older.

    Jag cried when Mom told him his body wasn’t built that way. “He only gets upset about his disability if it stops him from doing something, like riding bikes,” his mom says. Most of the time, Jag learns how to do what he wants to do.

    Try walking on your knees with both legs tied up. Difficult? This is a little like how Jag felt when he decided to learn how to walk instead of scamper on all fours. He pushed a baby toy around the house to help him keep his balance until he could finally walk.

    A Part of the Class

    In school, Jag holds a pencil between his only thumb on one arm and the nubbin on his other arm. He has better handwriting than most of his friends with 10 fingers! When the recess bell rings, he tags along in his wheelchair. (He likes to use it only for long distances.) Then he hops out to play ball or tag with friends. “Look out for Jag!” they holler as he scurries after them.

    Jag likes Primary too. His teachers say his questions are so interesting that sometimes they have to search for the answers.

    Jag’s Favorites

    School subjects: science and social studies

    Hobby: trading cards

    Food: root beer and ribs

    Holiday: Christmas

    Day of the year: December 26, his birthday

    Activity: play soccer, baseball, or football with friends

    Color: silver

    Animal: dinosaur

    Jag’s Fire

    Jag has a fire inside that pushes him to do hard things. Why? “Doesn’t everyone have to learn to do these things?” he answers.

    He looks up to a professional wrestler who is also missing parts of all four limbs, and he hopes that he can learn to wrestle someday too. He thinks about becoming a scientist when he is older.

    Jag’s greatest heroes are Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. “God helps me keep trying to do things that are hard,” he says. With determination and faith in the Savior, Jag plans to fly over every hurdle in his path.

    Where in the world is India?

    [map] Before being adopted, Jag and his three siblings—Sarisha, Kirsi, and Taj—were born here.

    Photographs by Kimberly Webb

    Jag’s family likes to collect elephants. It reminds them of India—where Jag, his brother, and sisters were born.