Award-winning Southeastern student broadcaster overcomes disability

Award-winning Southeastern student broadcaster overcomes disability
Award-winning Southeastern student broadcaster overcomes disability (Source: Courtesy of Southeastern University)

HAMMOND, La. (WAFB) - Dylan Domangue didn’t let his disability get in the way of achieving his dream of becoming a sports broadcaster.

The Southeastern Louisiana University graduate shares his journey of growing up with cerebral palsy in his documentary, “12 seconds at birth,” which will debut on the Southeastern Channel on Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 8 p.m.

Domangue produced the documentary for a class project.

“Since I have been in college, I have wanted to do a project involving some kind of research or story about those with a physical disorder,” Domangue said. “I have met many amazing people in my lifetime who battle physical disorders who are all role models in my life, because they have made the most of their life despite having something holding them back.”

“12 seconds at birth” opens with Domangue’s birth when he was deprived of oxygen for 12 seconds, causing permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy resulting in muscle, joint and bone problems that have affected his walking movement throughout his entire life.

Despite his disorder, the Houma native tried to participate in as many activities as possible as a child, including baseball.

“The hardest part about having this disorder as a kid was actually accepting the fact that I had a disorder,” Domangue said. “I never wanted to see myself as being different and my parents never treated me as such, but as a kid, you see everyone around you with normal functioning legs, and I was the outlier. Being different as a kid is tough because people will stare and make you feel that you are less than what you actually are. Trying to understand why I was different as compared to everyone else was hard, especially at an early age.”

One of Domangue’s greatest challenges was when he was forced to quit baseball after a sudden growth spurt stretched his leg muscles caused him severe pain and required 18 major surgeries when he was 11, according to a press release.

Despite these challenges, the sports lover never gave up on his dream of becoming a sports broadcaster.

“If I could have done so in the fifth grade, I would have jumped straight into college to become a sports broadcaster,” he said in a press release.

Domangue said his life changed dramatically at Southeastern, where he started his broadcast career working for the Southeastern Channel. At first, he was nervous his disorder would affect his reporting, but he quickly made a name for himself.

Before even graduating, Domangue was recognized both nationally and internationally for his reporting.

The Society of Professional Journalists awarded him first in the nation for his news videography and twice he won second for his sports videography. His producing and play-by-play announcing resulted in first in the nation honors from College Broadcasters, Inc. for a Southeastern football broadcast. His producing and live game directing enabled a 2019 football game for ESPN-Plus to win National Finalist recognition as one of the top four in the nation given by both the Broadcast Education Association and the College Sports Media Awards. The broadcast was also honored by the Emmys in the Suncoast region of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with a Student Production Award, according to a press release.

Domangue credits his work ethic to his parents and the way they treated him as if he didn’t have a disorder.

“My parents raised me to not think down about myself, because if I worked hard, I could do everything that the other kids could do,” he said. “My parents treated me as if I never had a disorder, and without that mindset that they instilled in me, I know I would not be the same person I am today.”

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