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E. Islip's Murphy motivational, inspirational

The phrase "I can't" is not a part of Rohan Murphy's vocabulary.

There's never been an "I can't'' in his repertoire. Whether he was in the classroom or on the wrestling mat at East Islip High School or at Penn State, Murphy has always believed he would succeed.

Murphy, a double-leg amputee since birth, has more than persevered in a life that he has dedicated to motivating other persons with disabilities.

The 27-year-old, who graduated from East Islip in 2001, will be the motivational speaker for the Dowling College Sports Management Club at the St. John's Oakdale campus Monday night at 6 o'clock.

"I'm looking forward to this opportunity to reach out and educate people about living life with a purpose and reaching for goals," said Murphy, who had an 80-22 record for East Islip and reached the Suffolk finals at 96 pounds in 2001.

"If there's something you want to do, nothing should stop you."

Murphy caught the imagination of the wrestling community when he battled his way into the Suffolk championship at 96 pounds as an East Islip senior.

Murphy led the match into the final seconds before allowing a five-point move and losing by a point. The memorable loss left the capacity crowd at Stony Brook University in complete shock.

"No one will ever forget Rohan Murphy," East Islip coach Guy Leggio said. "He was courageous. He gave anyone who ever doubted themselves hope. He was amazing."

Murphy has been featured in the Nike-themed commercials of "No Excuses" and also is an accomplished power lifter who competes in international competitions.

There were many who thought Murphy would never participate in sports, much less dominate. Until they saw him on the mat. With Andy Slawson

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