Liberty grad deals with life's "Tough Blows" and inspires with n - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Liberty grad deals with life's "Tough Blows" and inspires with new book

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LIBERTY, Ohio -

Music helped Liberty grad Wayne Magee find his way, and now he's trying to help others do the same.

Born with a rare genetic disorder, he's turned his story into a book called "Tough Blows," defying the odds yet again.

His whole life, Wayne Magee's been told what he can't do. He focuses on what he can accomplish.

"I don't have a full clavicle, so I can fold myself in half," said Magee.

Wayne was born with a rare condition called cleidocranial dysplasia, or CCD; no collarbones, teeth that wouldn't come in. He's spent his whole life, creating his own path to success.

"I was told by medical professionals, and also people in school, that you're not going to do too well," said Magee. "So having that and using that as a way to say, 'I'm gonna show them I can.'"

It's a mentality that's the very basis for his book, "Tough Blows," that came out in May. The "T" in Tough stands for tenacity.

Wayne was in the learning disability class at Liberty and had to earn his opportunities and prove he was ready to be mainstreamed, which is where music came into the picture.

"They thought that me being in learning disability classes that I couldn't add music onto it. I told them, give me a chance. If I start slipping, then obviously this is something that I can't handle," said Magee.

"I, to this day, have no idea how Wayne was able to play trumpet the way Wayne was able to play trumpet, because by all of the physical characteristics that we're taught as trumpet players, he shouldn't be able to do it," said Liberty Band Director Michael Summers.

Summers still uses Wayne as an example of someone who never let anything get in his way.

"He would never take no for an answer," said Summers.

During his senior year, Magee won the John Philip Souza award for the band member who went above and beyond. It's something Magee was already doing, dealing with CCD.

After finding his passion for music and experiencing success with the trumpet, Wayne went on to YSU's Dana School of Music with plans to become a musician in the military. That's where his tenacity would be put to the test again, with another roadblock.

"My junior year at Dana School, I auditioned for the Army band in Europe to become a professional musician with them. I passed the audition, was good to go and they found out about CCD. It's like, 'I'm sorry, we can't have anybody serve in the military with this genetic disorder.' So I had to get a plan B," said Magee.

Again, Magee found a way. He ended up becoming the director of bands, honor guard, and drill team at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

"When someone tells me no, I'm going to figure out a way to do it," said Magee.

And now with his book he's hoping to help others do the same.

Magee said the toughest lesson for him personally was learning to ask for help, which the "H" in TOUGH represents, but he said it was a vital part of his success. 

He's already had people from all over the world reach out to him since the book came out in May, and he says he's been blown away by the response.

You can find out more information about Wayne and his book at toughblows.com. It is also available on Amazon. 

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