KEYC - Born Fighter Goes for Green Belt

Born Fighter Goes for Green Belt

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MANKATO, Minn. -

Some people let obstacles stand in their way but one Mankato 12-year-old is refusing to let anything stop him.

Johann Donato has always been a fighter. He was born with five heart defects and diagnosed with Down Syndrome at a day old. He has proven to let nothing stand in his way.
 
"When he was in the NICU, they called him Hercules," Johann's mother Tessa Donato said.
 
He comes to karate class every day, never gives up and like everyone else is held to the same standards.
 
"I am amazed at this memory, because each belt has a sequence and he's able to remember that way better than me. Because that's one of the things that's affected when you have Down, is your memory can be potentially damaged," Tessa said.
 
Johann will test for his Green Belt, on April 21st. Going from a beginner to an intermediate in only 8 months.
 
"He never gives up on anything if he gets it wrong the first time, we'll break it down into easier steps for him to understand and then that usually works for him a lot," Master Instructor Tim Flynn, said.
 
Johann wouldn't be where he is if it wasn't for his support system. His parents attend every class, and train with him at home, so he can one day achieve his goal of earning a Black Belt.
  
"After classes and weekends, we'll have family time to practice together and we'll look for details and do them with each other for support and say hey you need to do this and that," Johann's father Luis Donato, said.
 
As long as Johann has karate, he's happy and those around him can't help but feel the same way too.

 --KEYC News 12