Bloke born with half a body due to Chernobyl radiation says ‘dating is hard’

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    A bloke born with just half a body due to radiation from one of the world's biggest nuclear disasters has given an insight into how he lives his life.

    Tim Mason was born in Moscow, Russia, with no lower limbs and just one arm.

    Doctors told his biological mother that this was due to the high amounts of radiation she received following the Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion in 1986.

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    He was immediately put in an orphanage, but is now able to live fully independently and loves to walk his dog, cook, dance and work out on his treadmill – despite having no legs.

    At three years old Tim was adopted by Virginia Mason, 80, who came over to Russia after reading about him and was told by the head of the orphanage that he would not have a good quality of life.

    Virginia lost her partner when Tim was seven-year-old and raised him as a single mum.

    Now he lives in Hartford, Connecticut, US, and wants to show others that having half a body doesn't hold him back.

    Tim, works as a student success team member at the Napa Valley Wine Academy, said: “People think that disabled people cannot exercise, but we can all do it.

    “Exercise is for anyone – people don’t realise that I’m not just sitting in my room as a triple amputee, I love exercise and it keeps me healthy both physically and mentally

    “I wake up every day and fight on and my independence is the thing I’m most grateful for."

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    Despite being told Tim wouldn’t have a good quality of life, Virginia knew Tim would be fine.

    He came over to America when he was three and started speaking English as soon as he got there.

    When he was younger, Tim had prosthetics and had to use a walker and crutch to move forward, but he didn't like it and his mum supported his choice to stop using the prosthetics.

    Now Tim focuses on the positives in his life and loves to show people that “life is as normal as he makes it”.

    Dog walking, dancing and exercising are some of his favourite hobbies.

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    “I really strive to prove people wrong so a lot of my hobbies have come from that,” he said.

    “People thought I wouldn’t be able to take care of a dog but he is my best friend.

    “I love to walk my dog, I fully take care of him and take him on three walks a day.

    “The only thing I need help with is driving him to the vet.”

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    He started his gym routine a year and a half ago, saying he really focuses on his movement.

    Explaining his routine, he said: “I use the treadmill for about 10-30 minutes and I do my own version of weight-lifting and crunches.

    “Exercising is an amazing hobby, I lost 40 pounds in 2021.”

    Despite not letting his disability hold him back, Tim has noticed the impact his condition has on dating.

    “Dating is hard in this generation, people see disabilities on your online profiles and base you off that," he said.

    “They don’t see the powerful person I see.”


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    • Chernobyl
    • Russia
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