Shriner's patient needs votes to compete in Iron Man competition

Shay Eskew
Shay Eskew

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A Shriner's patient has a 'burning desire' to race in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

Shay Eskew was a patient at Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati when he was eight years old after being burned on over 30 percent of his body.

Not only was Eskew as burn victim but he was a hero, as well.

Eskew stopped, dropped and rolled to put out the fire engulfing his body and used a garden hose to put out the fire that engulfed his 7-year-old friend.

Eskew lost an ear and sweat glands in 30 percent of his body. His right arm was webbed to his body and he had only 60 percent range of motion in his neck.

However, after years of rehabilitation and more than 30 surgeries, he considers himself lucky and says, "I'm in better health now than I have ever been."

Now, Eskew's biggest challenge is to win an opportunity to participate in one of the biggest triathlons, the Ironman, on October 13, 2012.

His goal is to finish the race in 10 hours, well before the 17-hour cutoff.

"I don't think my burns are an excuse not to be competitive," he says.

Eskew is competing for a chance to participate in the race against 14 other individuals who have faced adversity.

"If I am chosen to participate, I'll be raising money for burn trauma advances, specifically for Shriners Hospitals for Children and the Phoenix Society. "

To vote for Shay, click here and look for his video, Burning Desire, and vote.

You can vote once a day, every day, to send Shay to Kona.  Voting ends July 18, 2012.