News 12 helped him get a prosthetic leg in 2008. Now he’s paying it forward.

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A young man from Israel is paying it forward after receiving a prosthetic leg years ago – with the help of News 12 Westchester.

News 12's Tara Rosenblum first shared Asael Shabo’s story back in 2008 during his first visit to America.

The then-15-year-old was an aspiring athlete bursting with hope despite his horrific loss. At 9 years old, Shabo watched in horror as terrorists shot and killed his mother and three brothers. Shabo was shot four times and lost his right leg – surviving only after pretending to be dead.

Tikvot, an international charity, brought him to Westchester to raise money for a $70,000 prosthetic leg.

Within days of News 12’s story airing, the donations came pouring in. One week later, News 12 was there as Shabo took some of his first steps on "two feet" once again.

The teen headed back to Israel a few days later.

Shabo recently returned to the U.S. and visited the Leffell School in Hartsdale. News 12’s Tara Rosenblum caught up with him.

He’s now 26 years old, married and working as an elementary school physical education teacher in Israel.  He also spent two years playing professional basketball in Germany.

“That was a big experience for me. But now I decided to go back and work with the kids at our center to help the kids achieve more and know that they have the ability to achieve everything they want,” he says. “And when I look at myself when I was 10, more than 10 years ago, I was a broken child who had no idea or self-esteem.”

Shabo is now a motivational speaker, visiting schools around the world to spread a message of hope to the next generation.

“I want people to know that everything is possible. Eventually, it doesn't matter what you're going through in your life.  During your life, you can achieve everything you want…especially for the young generation. If they want to be athletes teachers or mayors, anything they want, they think they can do it. It’s possible.”

 

 

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