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Despite Being Paralyzed, ‘Cow Whisperer’ Boy In Wheelchair Leads Steer, Melts Hearts

Alec Gotto, 11, despite a neurological disorder that paralyzed him at 8 months old, has become an enthusiastic exhibitor of Angus beef cattle. This year at the Iowa State Fair he led his steer in his wheelchair in the Governor’s Charity Steer Show.DES MOINES, IA – The signature moment of the Iowa State Fair may have arrived early, as early as Saturday, when Alec Gotto of rural Dyersville rolled into the arena of the Livestock Pavilion alongside his massive steer, J.D.The fair offers a continuous stream of 4-H kids like Alec, 11, who lead beasts into the show ring that outweigh them by hundreds or even thousands of pounds. But keep in mind I said “roll”: Alec has been paralyzed since he was 8 months old, since before he could crawl. The arena erupted in cheers and applause as the audience lavished the pair with a standing ovation that would carry them to victory for the People’s Choice Award.

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