Damali Keith tells the Murphy's story and urges people to go online and vote to Send Shawn's Ironman To Kona.
HOUSTON (FOX 26) -
A three-year-old with a life-threatening condition ended up helping to save his father's life.
When Shawn Murphy was born, the little guy had three different holes in his body where his urine would exit. He had a bad kidney, an extra urethra and he would urinate through his belly button.
Doctors had no idea if the newborn would live or die.
"We knew Shawn was going to be born with what's called a multi-cystic dysplastic kidney, which means a whole lot of cysts instead of a kidney, but we didn't realize he was going to be born with this rare one in 35-million condition born with two urethras."
Baby Shawn endured three ground-breaking surgeries and survived.
"I just saw my son go through the impossible and showed me anything is possible. I knew if he could do it, I could do it," said Shawn's dad, Matthew Murphy.
So Murphy started his great transformation.
"When I first decided to become an Ironman, I was an overweight smoker. I smoked an average between a pack, pack and a half a day since I was about 16 years old," said Matthew.
So Matthew dropped his smoking habit and 50 pounds.
"He was able to go from an overweight couch potato to finishing triathlons and Ironmans and it's just incredible," said Matthew's wife, Rachel Murphy.
In two years, he has a number of triathlons and Ironman competitions under his belt.
"I've done 15 endurance events," said Matthew.
Shawn is now three years old and his parents run a non-profit called Shawn's Anomaly Foundation. The group helps other families with babies born with abnormalities.
"We've been there. We've done that. Actually having someone who can say that to a family means a lot to them. We have certified counselors and licensed counselors that can help them. We also try to help them financially when we can," said Matthew.
Now, Matthew is asking for your help. All you need to do is vote for him. He wants to compete in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
"It's probably one of the hardest events to get into," he said.
"If he makes it to Kona to the world championship and he crosses that finish line, it will be like the ultimate," said Rachel.
Matthew is up against 15 semi-finalists. You can help this Houstonian win a spot to compete in Ironman Kona. Just go to sendshawnsironmantokona.com. You can vote from July 4 to July 18, 2012.
"Putting Shawn's Anomaly on the world stage at the Ironman World Championship greatly increases that awareness. It helps not only people here in Houston but people around the United States and people around the world," said Matthew.
He said one in 30 babies are born with abnormalities.