All-American athlete tells ‘redemption story’ after parents blamed their ‘sin’ for her birth defect

All-American athlete Katelyn Pavey is ready to tell her story. 

Pavey, who was born with a birth defect, told Fox News Digital she originally turned down the offer three times to create a film based on her life story. Pavey became the first All-American athlete from Lanesville, Indiana, to receive a scholarship to play college softball.

“We didn’t think that I had a story to share. My family didn’t think we had a story. There is other people, and we just didn’t want to be seen as different, but we ended up saying yes because Tyler [Sansom], our director, proposed one question: ‘If I can help inspire one person, and if I can help lead one person to Christ, would I do it?’ And we said ‘Yes,’” Pavey shared.

Promotional picture for "I Can"

“I Can,” produced by Kappa Studios, released in select theaters on Sept. 22. (Kappa Studios)

The film “I Can,” which is produced by Kappa Studios and features actress Danner Brown portraying Pavey, is based on Katelyn’s life. It focuses on her parents’ affair, which led to an unexpected pregnancy, and her softball journey. 


WATCH: Katelyn Pavey says ‘I Can’ is a ‘redemption story’ on how she was conceived

After Pavey was born and her birth defect – which left her with only one fully developed arm – was discovered, her father David believed that it was God punishing him for his sins. Pavey’s parents left their spouses to begin a new life together.

“My grandma, actually, when I was born, told my dad that God doesn’t make mistakes,” Pavey told Fox News Digital.

In Pavey’s words, “I Can” is a “redemption story” on how she was conceived and overcame her adversity.

“I was conceived out of wedlock due to an affair and my parents carried the sin and guilt for a long time, thinking that I was born with one arm because of their past,” she began. 

“I was conceived out of wedlock due to an affair and my parents carried the sin and guilt for a long time, thinking that I was born with one arm because of their past.”

— Katelyn Pavey

“So, the movie kind of hits on that in the beginning, and then it goes through my softball days and just showing how, you know, that sin was still carried on through my parents. But, you know, I faced difficulties in the game. I faced difficulties, you know, with an injury. And then just how my positive attitude got over that and overcame everything that my parents were feeling and so it’s kind of just like a redemption story and a story of overcoming adversity,” Pavey continued.

Katelyn Pavey smiling

Katelyn Pavey told Fox News Digital that new “I Can” movie tells her family’s “redemption story.” (Katelyn Pavey/Instagram)

Paul Long, Katelyn Pavey, Brad J. Silverman and Tyler Sansom at "I Can" screening

The film follows Katelyn Pavey’s life and her journey with her faith as she rose to success as an athlete. (Kappa Studios)

She added, “I want people to know that, you know, no matter what you look like, no matter where you came from, who you are, God made you for a reason. God made you just the way he wanted to. A theme in the movie is God doesn’t make mistakes. So, if we trust that God has a plan for us, we can overcome anything.”

Despite her disability, Pavey became a successful softball player and shared with Fox News Digital that her faith helped her through challenging times.

WATCH: Katelyn Pavey talks about pivotal childhood moments that will be seen in ‘I Can’

“So, always knowing that God had a plan for me and trusting in that and knowing that, you know, softball was just a platform that I could use to glorify Him and to show others, you know, Him through my play and through my actions. It really got me through playing softball and knowing that I had a reason,” she said.


Pavey shared that she continued to play softball to prove the “naysayers” and people who doubted her that they are wrong.

“I want people to know that no matter what you look like, no matter where you came from, who you are, God made you for a reason.”

— Katelyn Pavey

“I just think it’s an inspirational story showing that, you know, the only disability in life is a bad attitude and if you keep at it, and you have a great attitude that you can accomplish anything,” she said.


Pavey began playing softball during her childhood and made it to a collegiate level. She played softball at Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, Kentucky. Pavey told Fox News Digital aside from the fundamentals of learning how to play the sport with one arm, hearing “parents or coaches” doubting her was a challenge.


“My freshman year of college, I ended up tearing my ACL and that was like my breaking point. I thought my entire career was over, you know? ‘Why me? Why did this happen to me?’ I mean, I just worked so hard growing up to get to where I was, and now it’s all getting taken away,” she said. 


Pavey continued, “I think that that made me realize that I needed to kind of focus. I lost sight of God and I need to focus on Him and focus on getting better. When I did that, I learned that, you know, I one had a story, I had a reason and I needed to keep going. That was kind of like a breakthrough moment for me to keep playing the sport and just to keep inspiring people.”

WATCH: Katelyn Pavey shares the challenges she faced when she first started playing softball

Pavey is entering a new chapter in life. She has graduated from college and has hung up her cleats as she recently walked down the aisle.


“On Sept. 15, I’m getting married, which is crazy. Our director for the movie is actually marrying us, so that’s pretty cool. The movie comes out on Sept. 22. So everything’s going to happening back to back.”

“I Can” released in select theaters nationwide Friday, Sept. 22. Pavey shared with Fox News Digital that 100% of the proceeds from the film are going toward “helping kids in need.” 

WATCH: Katelyn Pavey reveals why she agreed to film ‘I Can’ 

“It’s all for a mission,” she said. “We’re just going to help others that don’t have the opportunity to go and do things, or kids that were always were told that they couldn’t do something. So, we’re going to give back that way.”


Over 3,000 kids will be able to see the film at no cost thanks to their pay-it-forward program, and the producers are donating profits from the film to select children’s charities.

Check Also

Stephen Fry broke pelvis, hip, leg and ribs in O2 stage fall | Ents & Arts News

Actor Stephen Fry said he is still “self-conscious” when he leaves the house without his …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *