AARON ‘Wheelz’ Fotheringham is unable to control his legs – but that hasn’t stopped him achieving SIX world records and becoming a sporting superstar. Aaron was born with Spina Bifida, a rare congenital defect of the spine that often causes paralysis of the lower limbs. Aaron, 27, got his first wheelchair when he was just three years old and soon began his journey into the world of Wheelchair Motocross. Residing in Las Vegas, Aaron told Barcroft TV: “I wouldn’t say that Spina Bifida defines me. “I’ve become a professional WCMX (Wheelchair Motocross) rider, which is pretty much taking skateboard and BMX tricks and performing them on a wheelchair. “I was the first ever person to land the backflip, the double backflip, front flip, a backflip 360 and a backflip 180 on a wheelchair. “I was 14 at the time I landed the backflip – I have tried this trick hundreds of times since and I’ve only landed it twice.” Due to his condition, Aaron has now had 22 surgeries. “Growing up with all the surgeries, I spent a lot of time in the hospital – that was rough,” he said. “It affects the strength in my knees, my ankles and my hips. I have a little bit of movement in my hips and my knees, but nothing in my ankles. “I would actually say the most challenging thing about life with Spina Bifida is the way other people treat me because of it.” Aaron has amassed a strong following online, with more than 500,000 followers on Instagram. His biggest support comes from his wife, Charlee. She said: “I think that what Aaron shows individuals, is that the struggle doesn’t define you for the rest of your life.” Aaron would now like to see himself progress further in the sport and to make Wheelchair Motocross more popular with the public. “I want to see more kids out there in the parks, having fun with their wheelchair,” he said. “Riding has given me so much to be thankful for.”
AN AMISH BUGGY that would normally be drawn by horses has been fitted with a turbo jet engine. “It’s like oil and water, they should not go together,” jokes its creator Chad Clark. The outrageous project, built by Chad Clark and Mike Monter of Millersburg, Ohio was originally meant to be something very different. “Mike and I were at our local county fair, I mentioned it would be really cool to build a turbine-powered four-wheel drive pulling truck,” Chad explained. But the auction description had misrepresented the engine as a turbo shaft engine. “I went home that night, found an engine online and bought it but didn’t realise it was not turboshaft, it was turbojet only,” Chad remembers. They ended up having to use a much lighter vehicle instead of the original truck. “We live in the Amish capital of the world so we figured an Amish buggy would be perfect,” Chad said. Co-creator Mike Monter told BTV: “He called me up, said we’re not doing a pulling truck anymore, we’re doing an Amish buggy – seemed natural.” The build and modifications cost around $30,000 and took roughly 700 hours of labour to complete: “Many all-nighters,” Chad said. When out in public, people struggle to believe the bizarre creation actually works. “When people see the Thunder Buggy they can’t believe their eyes and the first question is, does it really move? Yes it does,” explained Chad. Traditionally, these buggies would have been moved by horses so this particular one is far from conventional. “The buggy is not designed to take 100 feet of electrical wiring, fuel tanks and a jet engine,” Chad admitted. With a top speed of 65 miles per hour before the wheels start shaking, this exhibition-only vehicle was not built for speed: “It’s a really simple engine design, it’s some pretty awesome engineering from back in the 40s,” explained Chad.
A YOUNG FATHER and body mod fan has covered 60% of his body in tattoos and had screw-on horns implanted in his skull. Pedro Kenso, 26, from Brasilia, Brazil has also had both eyeballs tattooed, a bifurcated tongue and even partially cut ears. “The most painful thing I’ve ever done was to cut my ears,” Pedro told BTV. But he doesn’t regret any of his choices: “I don’t regret it, if I could go back in time, I would just get even more modifications,” Pedro jokes. His first tattoo was his mother’s name, Lucia, on his arm – and at first she struggled to come to terms with her son’s extreme tattoos. She told Barcroft TV: “In the beginning I didn’t accept it because of prejudice but then later I started getting used to it and ended up even getting tattoos myself.” Even his wife, Vanessa didn’t have any tattoos when they first met but before long she was hooked as well. But as parents raising a young daughter, both Pedro and Vanessa have to deal with prejudice from the public. Vanessa said: “The image that people have of him, they think he’s aggressive. People ask me if I’m afraid of him, but he’s so affectionate.” Pedro added: “I am criticised a lot – people point at me, they are scared. People assume I am a drug addict or a criminal, they won’t even sit next to me on the bus.” But Pedro is so used to the prejudice. He said: “Before I used to mind, I used to feel bad, I suffered. Nowadays I don’t mind, it doesn’t even bother me.” Although Vanessa is proud of him, she thinks he has reached his limit. She said: “I’m proud of how he’s dedicated himself to his work – I think he’s already reached a limit, but he wants to be extreme.” For Pedro, his own tattoos and modifications are the focus of his artistic self-expression. He explained: “Me? I’m just a chill guy, I’m just a little shy – everything is about the art. I conquer everything through the art of tattooing.”
A sex columnist with a bionic arm says her robotic limb makes her feel ‘sexy as hell.’ Born without a lower left arm Dayna Troisi, 26, went prosthetic free until she was aged 23. After seeing one being worn by an actress, she began exploring bionic alternatives. Dayna now sports a black robot arm emblazoned with a Chanel logo, who she names Tatiana. The New Yorker describes her arm as being ‘a little slutty.’ The writer is unapologetic about her limb difference, she hopes sharing her story will change people’s perceptions around sex and disability. Dayna said: ‘I don’t care when people stare because it’s different and I know I’m different. ‘I love sexiness, I love femininity and I’m so proud of myself that I’m up to a point where I don’t apologize for it. ‘To me this is like the ultimate fashion accessory.’ The 26-year-old admits one of the most difficult parts of growing up without an arm was people falsely expecting she was unable to participate in group activities. ‘When people assumed I couldn’t do things or needed help, that really hurt. ‘It affected my self-esteem.’Dayna is sociable and actively dating, and her disability isn’t something she intends to shy away from with prospective dates. ‘On dating apps I’m very open about the fact I have one arm. ‘I want people to know what they’re getting into and I’m just open about it. As a dating writer, Dayna proudly champions that disabilities shouldn’t stop anyone from enjoying a healthy sex life. She said: ‘Even though some things might be a little different for you, everyone is still totally deserving of pleasure. ‘There’s something so kinky about being a fem-bot or cyborg. ‘I just wish women would fetishize me the way men do. I would love it if a girl was like that’s so hot!’ Dayna hopes to change the conversation around sex and disability with her approach to honest conversations
A POLYAMOROUS family from Colorado share parental duties of their eight kids and say that polyamory brings a lot more to their lives than it takes away. Matthew, 33, met his now ex-wife Ashley, 33, in a high school, the couple have been married for 5 years and had 3 kids together. But their traditional monogamous relationship has changed when the couple met Keila Perez, 32, and welcomed her to their relationship. Keila, who has four kids from her previous relationship, moved in together with Matt and Ashley and the throuple have started their own business – a bakery shop. The three now live together as a family with their eight kids and Ashley’s parents.
A WOMAN has revealed that she’s been in a five year relationship with the love of her life - an aeroplane. Michele Köbke, 30, from Berlin, Germany claims she’s in a relationship with a Boeing 737-800. Michele says she’s been in love with the aircraft for five years and their relationship is very much physical. She told Barcroft TV: “The 737-800 is very attractive and sexy to me. He’s the most beautifully built, and he’s a very attractive and elegant aircraft.” Michele rarely gets to spend time with a full size plane but has real plane components at home which she cuddles and sleeps with. Michele’s affection for the aeroplane is known as objectophilia – when sexual or romantic attraction is focused on a particular inanimate object.
AFTER hitting breaking point and tipping the scales at 414lbs, a mother-of-five dropped an astonishing 234lbs in just 14 months. Following her dramatic transformation, Noelle was left with loose baggy skin on her arms and around her belly which the 38-year-old admits initially caused her some insecurities. Although proud of her physique the mother from Nashville, Tennessee chose to have transformative surgery that would remove the excess skin following her drastic weight loss. Describing the procedure as ‘life changing’, months after her surgery Noelle is now enjoying a fresh lease of life with her brand-new body.
TWO BROTHERS have given a 2000 Kenworth W900 L truck the ultimate custom rig – making it one of the world’s most modified trucks. Raul and Roland Mendez, from San Antonio, Texas are the ingenious minds behind the award-winning 750 horsepower, Kenworth, one of the most modified trucks in the world, known as Project TOC. The truck took almost a year and a half to complete and the brothers estimate they have customised over 90% of the truck, spending up to $180,000 in the process.
PARENTS of a two-year-old with cranial facial differences say they found ‘their normal’ after watching an inspirational documentary on Barcroft TV. When their daughter Nova Hunia was born with severely reduced hearing and breathing difficulties, the couple desperately searched the internet to find out how their future would look. The pair, Acacia Hunia, 30, and Joseph Hunia, 29, from Wellington, New Zealand discovered Barcroft TV and were moved by an inspirational beauty vlogger named Marimar Quiora. The film made the young parents realise although Nova’s facial differences may describe her, they won’t define her.
A 3ft 8in woman is battling the prejudices around Little People in fashion. Caitlin from Devon, UK, was born with achondroplasia, a form of short-limbed dwarfism. The 18-year-old told Barcroft TV: “I kind of do enjoy having the condition because being average height would just be so weird to me now.” Caitlin gets most of her clothes from the children’s section of shops – or gets her clothes altered. After a photo she posted of her outfit on Instagram received a lot of attention, Caitlin began regularly blogging on social media about her outfits. She said: “People kept asking me ‘where do you get the stuff, how do you do it, because I’ve been searching for this for ages and it’s really helped me.’ And the rewarding aspect of that makes me want to push it further.” The student’s parents are extremely proud of her daughter, and her determination to not let her condition affect her confidence.
A DETERMINED 24-year-old man from California has reclaimed his life after shedding over 180lbs, half of his body weight. In 2015, Chris weighed 360lbs. He struggled to carry out basic tasks, like tying his shoelaces and realised he needed to drastically change his lifestyle. Four years later, he weighs 185lbs and is inspiring others to become the best version of themselves.
AN ASPIRING YouTuber, born without arms, applies flawless makeup using her feet. Nicolette, from Croydon, Pennsylvania, was born with a rare condition called Femur–fibula–ulna (FFU) complex. It’s a sporadic disorder involving defects of the femur, fibula and/or ulna generally in association with each other. But Nicolette has no trouble doing daily tasks, including her makeup. The 21-year-old told Barcroft TV: “I’m very particular with my makeup so it’s rare that I’ll let someone else do it, especially if I have to go somewhere, I always do it myself.” The vlogger is engaged to her fiancé, Zach, who she met on Tinder.
DESPITE having an age gap of 37 years, Julia and Eileen have recently tied the knot and are now preparing for their first big adventure as a married couple - a trip to Eileen’s home country America. The newly-wed couple travelled to Los Angeles, where 25-year-old Julia Zelg underwent Botox injections and dermal fillers in her lips and cheeks – against her wife’s wishes.
Founder of plus-size dance group 4Thirty-Two, Charity Holloway, launched a summer camp for girls ages 8-13 – and it’s time for their big performance! After five weeks of rehearsals, the young girls took to the stage to perform a fierce dance routine to their friends and family. Cheered on and coached by the Ladies Of 432, the girls had a chance to shine and prove they are body confident. Barcroft TV follows the girls on performance day – from the last rehearsal and pep talks through to backstage nerves. Charity’s mission to install body confidence in young women comes from her own struggles with self-confidence in her teenage years and inspired her to organise the 432 Body Positive Summer Dance Experience. She said: “As a child, I had a lot of self-confidence issues and it really stemmed from being plus-size. That is just one of the many things that kids go through nowadays. So I really feel like kids need a positive mentorship at an early age to install within them who they are. Especially when we're living in a world where you don't really see different body types in the dance field.”
A 295lb woman who lost an amazing 125lbs in a year has completed her transformation after excess skin surgery. Jasmine Parent, 30, completely changed her diet and lifestyle with her fiancé Jeremy Crawley, 27, after realising her physical and mental health was being affected by her weight. As for he was 333lbs just over a year ago, but has managed to lose over a third of his body weight. Wanting to set a better example for their two daughters, the couple have collectively lost 220lbs in under 14 months. In the pilot episode of Barcroft TV’s inspirational new body transformation series ‘Brand New Me’, the pair from Nova Scotia shed light on how they have become more healthy and active parents.
A FATHER-OF-THREE who has had over 90 percent of his body tattooed says that ‘looking normal was like a disease.’ Keith Edwards, from Atlanta, Georgia estimates he has between six and seven hundred tattoos and has spent over $10,000 on them. From turning his eyeballs black, to having his whole skull inked, the 30-year-old told Barcroft TV: “looking normal was like a disease I’m now cured of.” Although he is a devoted father, Keith has to deal with prejudice and judgement for his tattoos on a daily basis. But Keith is neither a drug dealer, rapper or ex-con. In fact, Keith is a baker.
MAKING WAVES with an inimitable style, a limbless rapper wants to change the world with hip-hop. Colin White, aka N.U.B.S., was born with a rare condition called acheiropodia, an autosomal recessive disorder that results in the lack of distal extremities. N.U.B.S. is a member of the Odd Squad Family, a trio of musicians from Phoenix, Arizona, including 27-year-old vocalist A~Factor and Snowman, 26, born with albinism. The stage name N.U.B.S. stands for Normally Underestimated By Sight, an affliction the 26-year-old artist has been battling since birth.
AFTER years of suffering from low esteem, an aspiring beauty blogger started embracing her rare facial birthmark through social media. Casey, 24, from Blaine, Washington, was born with a vascular birthmark that resulted in a port-wine stain on her face and growth of the lower lip. Growing up Casey ‘hated’ her reflection in the mirror and felt insecure about her appearance due to the pressure to look a certain way. Everything has changed when Casey came across Instagram posts of other women with similar condition and has been inspired by their strength and confidence. Casey says that social media has helped her to learn to love her birthmark and today she spreads awareness of visible difference by sharing her own story of living with a facial birthmark.
A WOMAN from Norway has found a way to reconnect with her ancestry by becoming a modern-day Viking. Sòl Geirsdottir, from Rygge, Norway, has spent the past 10 years dressed as a “Viking Queen”. Growing up, she says she was a “weird, creative kid” and was always “obsessed” with old Norse stories and ancient history. Now at 31 years old, Sòl calls herself a “modern-day Viking” whose life is influenced by the traditional aesthetics and culture.
DESPITE living with a severe form of psoriasis, a determined mother has finally gained the courage to speak out and raise more awareness of the “crippling autoimmune condition.” Sabrina was diagnosed when she was just 12-years-old and suffered major confidence issues in her teenage years – constantly trying to hide the scaly plaques on her skin. Due to the sometimes unbearable pain, the 23-year-old is unable to work and has to take great care when she wants to play with her children. Residing in North Carolina with her husband, Daniel, and her two daughters, Sabrina admits that her family and motherhood has saved her from complete depression. And thankfully, Sabrina has found more confidence in her own skin over the last few months and now hopes to educate people on something that is much more than “just a skin condition”.
A CAUCASIAN man has had his jaw shaved down, along with numerous other surgeries, to look like his Korean boyband idol. Oli London first hit headlines in February 2019 after news broke that he’d spent over £75,000 on surgeries to look like K-pop star, Jimin from Korean boyband BTS. In June 2019 Oli went back to Korea to have more surgery done on his face. The 29-year-old had a total of five surgeries with Dr Yun Chang Woon at View Plastic Surgery assisted by Medictel Korea; rhinoplasty, alarplasty, mandible angle reduction (v line jaw surgery), zygoma reduction (cheek bone reduction), and genioplasty with T osteotomy (chin contouring). He has now had over 15 surgeries and has spent an estimated £125,000 to achieve his dream look.
A 23-YEAR-OLD woman says that people are quick to assume she is a sugar baby, simply because her boyfriend is more than twice her age. Zadejah Wilson, 23, and Timothy William, 55, from Ohio, have been dating for two years. They bond over their witty sense of humour, shared love of games and adventurous lifestyle – but despite all of this, their relationship has had to face prejudices online, in public and from friends and family.
A TOWERING teenager from Texas is about to strut her way into the record books as the proud owner of the world’s longest legs. Aged only 16, Maci Currin, from Austin, Texas, has legs measuring an incredible 53 inches - smashing the previous record of 52.2 inches held by Ekaterina Lisina, of Russia. The 6ft 9in aspiring model was only 19 inches when born, but a series of growth spurts meant she rocketed to 5ft 7in by the time she was nine years old. Maci also has an inseam of 43 inches and has to stoop to avoid banging her head when walking through doors, but says she is proud of her lengthy limbs despite the added attention they bring.
A YOUNG WOMAN has taken up free-diving - despite losing both her arms and a leg in a tragic electrocution accident at just five years old. Victoria Salcedo, 23, from Guayaquil in Ecuador, was playing in her home when she accidentally touched a high voltage wire with a metal stick. The accident happened on November 11, 2001 and caused third degree burns so severe that both her arms and one leg had to be amputated. Victoria was so young she doesn’t remember her life before the accident. Growing up with only one leg and no arms, Victoria had to re-learn every basic task. Victoria refers to her only limb as her “magic leg” as it has allowed her to re-gain independence.
A MOTHER-OF-ONE wants to match the record for the world’s smallest waist – by shrinking her middle to a tiny 15 inches. Sarah Vaeth, 43, of Portland, Oregon is a painter with a passion for extreme corseting. Since 2014, Sarah has managed to reduce her waist size to 16 inches and now aims to match the world’s smallest waist, which currently measures at 15 inches. Sarah wears a corset almost every day for 16 – 20 hours at a time.