Chernobyl victim with no legs and one arm still hits treadmill at gym

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A man born without his legs and with just one arm following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster has spoken of his exercise routine, which includes up to half an hour spent on a treadmill. Tim Mason, 25, who now lives in the US state of Connecticut, was born in the Russian capital of Moscow.

But his birth mother was exposed to radiation following the infamous 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the former Soviet Union.

After operators lost control of one of the reactors, an explosion killed two people at the site, with 28 others dying in the weeks following the disaster.

The International Atomic Energy Association estimated that around 150,000 square kilometres of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine were contaminated by radiation.

As a result of the radiation, Mr Mason was born without legs, and with just one arm.

But now Mr Mason described his exercise regime, revealing that he shed 40 lbs last year.

He said he uses a treadmill for between 10 and 30 minutes per session, adding: “I do my own version of weightlifting and crunches.”

He spoke of the misconception that “disabled people cannot exercise, but we can all do it”.

He continued: “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.”

Mr Mason also detailed his enjoyment of dog walking and dancing.

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

“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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At just three years old, Mr Mason was adopted by Virginia Mason and brought over to the US after spending his earliest years in an orphanage.

Mr Mason spoke of his adoptive mother’s travels to meet him, recalling: “She knew I would be fine as I looked over and made fish faces at her.

“She was very happy to find me.”

Once he started his education in the US, he “skyrocketed” in his progress.

Mr Mason continued: “I was really active and always played on the playground.”

He described shedding his prosthetic limbs after realising he “didn’t really like them”.

He added: “They weren’t me.

“I wanted to be myself without them.”

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