Born without a limb, losing hearing at a very young age and having a kidney transplant while just a toddler are complications many of us have not endured.
However, Jeremy Martin's experience is one that gives him motivation.
The Marceline man, formerly from Kirksville, has been living in an almost silent world. For more than 20 years, the absence of sound has become his sense of normalcy.
"I actually strive to be normal, like everybody else," said Martin.
Jeremy has had severe hearing loss since the age of three, and by the age of five, he had to have a kidney transplant.
"He's done pretty good so far," said Wendy Holtel, his girlfriend. "Me and the kids don't treat him any different. We just treat him like a normal person."
Wendy says Jeremy's mother gave him a kidney to live on.
Jeremy is happy to be with his girlfriend, Wendy. The couple met over 10 years ago while attending Marceline High School.
Wendy and Jeremy are not alone. Wendy has two boys, ages 7 and 10, who call Jeremy, dad.
"We eat breakfast, and then after that, we play a board game or two, then he gets on his computer when I work on my word search," said Devon Holtel, Wendy's son.
There's one more special thing about this family. the youngest boy, John, was born without an arm, and Jeremy was born without a leg.
Although John is not Jeremy's biological son, they definitely share a special bond.
"Sometimes we get stared at because when he takes his leg off and they see my youngest son with a missing arm, so we're pretty well used to getting stared at," said Wendy. "We actually don't mind it any more because we know a lot of people out there are curious."
Jeremy stays at home with Devon and John, and he enjoys playing board games and card games that he designed and created himself.
"I make sure that they're fed as they stay at home with me," said Jeremy. "Play with them, have fun with them. You know, just hang out."
In his spare time, Jeremy loves graphic design, writing music and swimming.
"He's really good with the kids," said Wendy. "He's a good father."
Unfortunately, Jeremy's implant and his hearing aid are both out of date and can't be fixed.
Medicaid will not cover either of those vital medical devices, so his family and friends are asking for your help.
If you would like to donate to help find a sound for Jeremy, CLICK HERE.