LAKE JACKSON, Texas -

LAKE JACKSON, Texas (AP) - As Brazosport College students received their diplomas recently, preparing to start the next stage of their academic or professional lives, one student took a path to commencement most would consider unusual.
    
To hear Alexx Aplin tell it, though, it wasn't different at all.
    
Aplin was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a hereditary condition better known as "brittle bone disease." As the nickname might suggest, Aplin's bones are more brittle and prone to fracture than normal, leading to a potential host of health problems if not properly treated. Despite this setback, Aplin maintains a healthy degree of autonomy, getting around by means of a wheelchair and the help of his grandmother, who comes with him to the college to open some non-automatic doors.
    
"We're all here for the same reason," Aplin told The Facts of Brazoria County about his college experience. "It wasn't all that different from a normal student."
    
Yet Aplin isn't a "normal student" by traditional metrics, either. Graduating with a 3.84 grade-point average and with membership in the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Aplin was named one of the 14 Distinguished Students in the spring 2014 commencement class, in recognition for his stellar academic record and participation in volunteer activities.