OGDEN -- When he was in the fourth grade, Landon Weeks wanted to take piano lessons. A private piano teacher decided to give him a three-month trial.
Because Landon has only three fingers on each hand and no elbows that bend, his teacher knew it might pose a challenge, but she was willing to take the risk.
"She was a concert pianist until a tragic accident left her with the ability to just use two of her fingers on one arm," said Lanette Weeks, Landon's mother.
"When we approached her with the idea of teaching Landon, she agreed to a three-month trial saying, 'If I can play with two fingers, he can play with three.'
"She soon saw that this bright boy would devour every lesson, and she found ways to help him accommodate for his missing digits."
Taking that risk paid off. Not only has Landon developed his musical ability, he recently won $10,000 for his school during a statewide talent competition.
"I wanted to win my school $10,000, and I thought it would be fun to be on TV, and it was," said Landon, 15, a Bonneville High School sophomore.
"I wanted to get my name out there to the students at Bonneville, because it has always been my dream to be a class officer or student body officer."
Landon said he hopes winning the contest demonstrates to his classmates that he can get the job done.
"They have been able to see that I get things done. I am 'handi-capable,' and I would be a good leader who would work hard for them, even though I look different and have short arms."
Landon was born Feb. 29, 1996, a leap year baby for Lanette and Dr. Matt Weeks. He is the third of four boys.
Landon was born with humero radioulnar synostosis, or phocomelia, meaning he has a short humerus and fused radius and ulna bones. He has no elbows that bend and has three fingers on each hand.
"As a mother, I did whatever it took to help Landon find success in life," Lanette said.
"I knew it wouldn't be easy, but I knew that he was sent to me for a special reason, and I was determined to help him reach his full potential."
Landon said that aside from playing the piano, he likes to play the drums and video games, cook, sing, be funny, make new friends and drive his mom's new car.
However, he always falls back on his musical ability, because it calms him down and keeps him entertained.
"I have hundreds of piano books. My favorite composer is Jon Schmidt, because he lives in Utah and he's very good," he said. "And my mom lets me out of housework if I play the piano, so that's a big plus."
Landon has also performed at many venues, including family parties, church meetings, Weber County Medical Society events, school assemblies and talent competitions.
His favorite place to perform is the Christmas Tree Jubilee.
"It's important to me because it helps kids with disabilities in Weber School District get things they need," he said. "I got a recumbent bike from this organization, and I play the piano for them every year as a way of saying thank you for what they have done for me."
After high school, Landon wants to go to college, serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and be a motivational speaker and piano performer.
"I would like to get married someday, and I think the person I marry will be amazing because she will be able to see past my physical differences and love me for who I am despite my arms," he said.
Landon said his disability does not slow him down. He considers himself friendly, smart and funny, and hopes when people see him, they will ask about his disability instead of just staring.
"I once told some kids who were teasing me on the playground that I was abducted by aliens, and if they didn't quit teasing me, I'd call the aliens to come get them," he said.
"They stopped and ran away screaming. I laughed."