Never Giving Up: The Story of the Berthiaume Brothers - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Never Giving Up: The Story of the Berthiaume Brothers

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From birth, Glenn and Mike Berthiaume knew they were different. The two were born with thrombocytopenia with absent radius, or TAR Syndrome, and neither brother has a radial bone in either arm. Every movement they do is from their elbows, however, being different has only made them stronger, and now, the Berthiaume brothers are sharing that never quit attitude with the community.

Growing up in Bay County, Glenn and Mike's childhood wasn't like that of the average kid, and both had to adjust to living life a little differently- and it wasn't always easy.

"As I grew up with it, I kind of evolved into it, and realized this is how it is, this is how I'm going to be," said Mike, the younger brother by three years. "I can't change it. The strife that it was holding me back was a terrible thing."

"He did grow up with it a little bit harder then I did, and I think that we are different, and accepting it was a little bit different for each of us as well," said Glenn.
But accept it they did- and in turn, they flourished, playing and excelling at sports throughout their childhood.

"We grew up playing everything that everybody else could play," said Glenn. "Unfortunately, doctors were never going to clear us to play football."

It's the sport of football that captured both Mike and Glenn's hearts, and while they never could take the field in organized competition, as they got older, they traded in those desires to play for a whistle, and now roam the sidelines as coaches for Panhandle Pop Warner.

"I thought it was pretty cool how he can coach when he doesn't have the same length arms as everybody else," said Garrett Nelson.

Pretty cool that with a combined 11 years of coaching experience, Glenn and Mike still haven't let TAR Syndrome control their life.

"They showed us they weren't allowed to play football when they were younger, because the doctors wouldn't let them, but now they coach, they show that they can do it," said Katrina Long.

"They haven't asked too many questions, and I think it's because we've come out and shown them that we can do whatever they can do," said Glenn. "Their response has been great."

"To be able to show them, not maybe fully, physically, but I can try and guide them," said Mike.

"We can do anything anybody else can do," assured Glenn. "Being out here, giving back to the community, and showing people that anyone can do it if they want to and put their minds to it, and not let anything beat them, at the end of the day, that's what we want."

Panhandle Pop Warner kicks off their season on Saturday with a jamboree at Tommy Oliver Stadium, with Glenn and Mike's squad, the Tornadoes, capping off the night at 6:00/CT.