Beating the Odds: Justin overcomes genetic disease to get into Harvard

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Justin Sydloski is 18 years old, and despite a genetic condition commonly called brittle bone disease, he is headed to Harvard University this fall.

A recent graduate of Thornapple Kellogg High School, Justin's faced a lot of obstacles in his journey. Osteogenesis imperfecta causes his bones to break easily. He has spent a lot of his childhood in casts, plus he's had multiple surgeries. Justin was also diagnosed with Tourette syndrome at a young age.

Despite all that, he graduated with a 4.33 GPA and took nine advanced placement classes.

Justin's attitude about challenges is that "without that, you wouldn't be who you are today. Use it as a positive driving force, and don't let that be an excuse to not go where you want to go."

("Beating the Odds" is a new segment on FOX 17 Morning News that will focus on the stories of people across West Michigan who have overcome incredible odds, proving themselves in difficult situations, and never giving up despite what life throws at you. They are stories full of inspiration. If you know such a person, send a quick summary of their story and contact information to

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