FSU Student Overcomes Odds to Graduate

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Charles Finton, who likes to be called 'Buddy,' was born with brittle bone disease. Throughout his life he's had over 12 surgeries and has suffered more than 150 fractures.

His mom Alice says at three months old she accidentally broke his hip while holding him.

"We lost count of how many fingers he broke. He said, 'oh mommy, I broke a finger again.' We'd put a popsicle stick on it and he would go," said Alice Finton.

Just two years ago, Buddy was hit by a car right on FSU's campus.

"I started into the intersection, and the car started at the same time, and it hit me and knocked me out of my chair and broke my leg," said Buddy Finton.

Starting FSU in 1993, Finton was determined to get a college education. He joined FSU's Flying Circus as a clown, following in his father's footsteps as a stage performer.

"You see a clown and you smile, and that's just the greatest thing. I love to see the children's faces light up," said Finton, who says he always found ways of doing what he wanted to do.

"I didn't necessarily do it the way everyone else did, but I always found a way I could to it."

Finton says he's graduating Saturday with a 3.5 grade point average, and has already applied to graduate school. He says he paid his way through school, not taking out a single student loan.