DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – At first glance, Shawn Murphy looks like any other 4 year old. But the little boy has overcome some very big odds. Shawn was born with two urethras — a rare congenital anomaly. The toddler underwent three life threatening surgeries to pull through to the healthy side of life. On top of the stress of seeing their son in pain, Murphy’s family couldn’t find much support or information about his condition. That reality was a catalyst for the Murphy family, who used their experience to start “Shawn’s Anomaly,” an organization that helps families facing congenital anomalies.

“Someone cares and that goes a long way when trying to make it to another day,” according to Shawn’s father, Matthew Murphy. His son’s ordeal has inspired him to lose weight, get in shape and begin competing in Ironman challenges. Matthew Murphy is pounding the pavement, crisscrossing the state with what he calls his flag of hope.

He’s meeting other families with children fighting for their lives on his journey.

One of those children is 7-month-old Amaya Guerrero, born with a severe congenital heart defect. She has never left the hospital and is in dire need of a heart transplant.

“I told myself I would give her every chance that I could possibly give her I’d fight for her until there was nothing left,” said the infant’s mother, Serina Guerrero.

Matthew Murphy visited Children’s Hospital of Dallas on Sunday to offer support and encouragement to families just like the Guerreros’.

He collected signatures on his ‘flag of hope’ that he plans to carry with him in an upcoming Ironman competition.

“I want to carry as many families as I can across the finish line with me.”

Murphy knows first hand what it feels like to have a child face death but he also knows what it feels like to beat those odds. He said he wants other families to one day have that feeling too.

Click on sendshawnsironmantokona.com to vote for Matthew Murphy to become a competitor in the 35th  IRONMAN World Championship.

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