Life can be tough for anyone, with some dealing with tougher obstacles than others. Disabled people are sometimes just as capable of doing extraordinary things as people who are not. Here is a list of people who did not let their disabilities hinder their growth and instead chose to celebrate their disabilities and continue living a bright, inspiring, and successful life.
You may have seen an inspirational video of him that went viral a few years ago. Nick Vujicic was born without limbs. Despite this, he became a motivational speaker and founded Life Without Limbs, an organization for people with physical disabilities. His videos have been seen by millions and continue to inspire up to this day.
When you talk about men of science, you cannot leave Stephen Hawking out of the picture. Hawking was diagnosed with ALS when he was only 21 and needed a wheelchair and a voice synthesizer to enable him to speak and go about his daily life. This did not stop him from becoming one of history’s most brilliant theoretical physicists, astrophysicists, and cosmologists.
Kaisa Leka is a Finnish politician, graphic designer, and comic book artist. Her legs were amputated in 2002, but that did not stop her from pursuing growth in many aspects of her life. She was even named Cyclist of the Year in her home country in 2012. To top it all off, she is very comfortable with her disability: “I’ve chosen not to hide my prosthetics as I feel that there’s nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of,” she says in her website.
Speaking of talented, this man has got to be one of the most heartwarming drummers you’ll ever watch. Cornel was born with a deformed leg and no forearms in Romania. In his teenage years, he was very interested in learning how to play a musical instrument, making him try out the drums. Sometime later he placed second in a national drumming competition. His videos on YouTube also went viral, which goes to show that anyone can be skilled and talented whether or not they have a disability.
Who knew wheelchair skating could be possible? Aaron Fotheringham had multiple failed hip surgeries, making him wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. Despite his disability, he is a famous skater who can still perform death-defying stunts on his wheelchair. He even landed a 180º spin and was the first ever skater to land the first somersault in a wheelchair.
Italian songwriter and musical producer Andrea Boccelli was born with congenital glaucoma. At the age of 12, a football incident left him completely blind. These incidents fueled Boccelli’s desire for growth and allowed him to focus more on becoming a great musician. Today he has sold over 75 million records worldwide.
We were always told growing up that we should do unto others what we want others to do unto us. Disabilities can happen to anyone, and practicing a little bit of empathy goes a long way both for us and for those who are less fortunate than ourselves. If you’re a disabled person who’s feeling down at the moment, that’s perfectly normal. Know, however, that you are still protected by laws, particularly from discrimination, and have particular benefits and rights as a person with disability.
But do know that life is just a series of ups and downs. The people mentioned earlier are living proof that it is possible to lead a successful life with the right attitude and mindset, disabled or not. If you are someone who is a friend or family member of someone disabled, you can use these examples as a means of empowering and guiding them towards a similarly bright path.
Awesome Chantal. All these folks are inspired. Nick is something else. Overcoming physical obstacles is pretty dang tough; good on these guys!