Cart 0

Kentucky Wrestler Writes Inspirational Memoir of his battle with Cerebral Palsy

Terra Alta WV—Heart of a Lion, by Willie Burton and Brenda Burton, with award winning author, Barry Kienzle, is a new release from Headline Books, 2018 Independent Publisher of the Year. Joseph Beth Book Sellers in Crestview Hills, KY will be hosting the authors for a book signing on November 9 at 2:00 p.m.
Willie Burton was born with cerebral palsy. He suffered through painful surgeries and endless physical therapy sessions throughout his youth but his spirit and determination never wavered despite his disabilities. With the support of his adoptive mother, he signed up for the wrestling team at Fairdale High School where he was accepted by the team as an equal, later gaining national attention for his perseverance in order to win a single match on the mat. Heart of a Lion is an inspiring story overcoming life’s hardships through faith and courage.

“High school can be a tough time in a person’s life. It can be hard to fit in, find friends, and most importantly find yourself. For Willie Burton, after a life of growing up different from his friends, walking different, talking different, he wasn’t sure what he was going to find at Fairdale High School. But what he found was just what he needed. Besides a musty training room where he felt at home, he also found a brotherhood of teammates. Willie’s story is one that we all can learn from. And there is a reason that Willie walks and talks differently than others—he is a wrestler.
And he’s earned the distinction,” writes Dan Lindberg, Feature Producer – E:60 | ESPN

Scott Casber, Sr. Vice President of Takedown Media said, “When I interviewed Willie on my show on Takedown Wrestling I pointed out to the listeners that he was born differently than some of us, with him having cerebral palsy, but he didn’t let it stand in the way or hinder his love of competition. Disability is only in the eye of the beholder, and Willie proves it again and again. His life story is an inspiration not only to those with handicaps but to anyone who must overcome any challenges in their own life.”

“Willie Burton was born a fighter. Entering the world two months prematurely and weighing two and a half pounds, the tiny child with cerebral palsy and a crack cocaine addiction was not exactly the perfect baby his adoptive parents, Brenda and Larry Burton, had in mind. Trusting in God’s provident care, they took their child home, resolved to give him a better life than the odds suggested. Supported by Brenda’s love and encouragement through years of hospitalizations and physical therapy, Willie tackled every challenge put before him. The teen faced the ultimate test, though, when his determination to earn a place on his high school’s wrestling team put everything on the line. He relied on his faith in God to help him prove that life would not ever pin him to the mat!” writes Karen Kuhlman, Northern Kentucky columnist.

Brenda and Larry Burton adopted Willie as a baby, a baby with the odds against his survival. This book is about their struggle, their victories, and defeats together as a family, and the drive of a young man to be a wrestler. Award-winning author, Barry Kienzle, met Willie and his family and worked with them to write their story for the world to read.

Heart of a Lion is available at your favorite local and online bookstore, ISBN 9781946664778, 6 x 9, 160 pages, Retail $16.95