My Life Challenges Became My Life's Work

I was born premature in 1987, after having complications from my birth, I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. I want readers to know that Cerebral Palsy is not genetic, nor hereditary, it is the lack of oxygen at birth. I really don't like to share this because I'm not looking for a pity party, but I do want people to understand what Cerebral Palsy really is about and that people with CP can make a positive difference!

I have had many life challenges living with C.P., primarily my education presented some of my biggest challenges. However, I was fortunate enough to be in mainstream schooling from pre-kindergarden through college. My greatest challenge during schooling was earning my college degree, as schools are not equipped to deal with our (CP) unique abilities.

Another challenge and probably my greatest difficulty was losing my mother 4 years ago to a brain aneurysm.  It literally has taken me 4 years to recover from the passing of my mother and get back to working to the best of my abilities. She was not only my loving provider but a true inspiration to me! 

I had a very close relationship with my mother.  She always pushed me to be the best and to give my best despite my circumstances. It was her positive thinking that propelled me to start one of my businesses. In 2006, I had a really rough back surgery and up until the age 18 I was walking independently and doing physical therapy 2 to 3 times a week to maintain my independence. I was going through my back surgery to continue my independence, but I had life changing complications during my surgery.  My spine did not respond well during my 6 hour scoliosis surgery and I lost the ability to walk. During my post surgery rehabilitation, the therapist noticed I was getting angry during therapy. It was her belief that I was angry because I was depressed about my new circumstances and she wanted me to see a psychiatrist for possible depression.  My mother caught wind of the therapist's recommendation and my mother said, "Win, you don't need to see a psychiatrist for depression. You need to take your mind off the negative and focus on what you can do!"  So the day my mom took me home from the hospital, I immediately researched an online art program and I learned an artistic training program inside and out; through my loss of walking, I was able gain a new independence.  I became a self taught, digital artist.  What that means is that I take photos and turn it into digital art work. Below is an example of my work:

My digital art company was a was a result of my first life challenge that became my life's work!  I'm currently combining my digital art company with my book company. My mother's passing was really the start of the journey of my first book "I win". The book started as project for my own healing process. I took a leadership workshop and keep in mind this was not a workshop for people with disabilities, but for people to learn how to deal better with life's challenges and setbacks.  Through that leadership workshop, they challenged each participant to write ten big goals we wanted to do and we had to present our goals to the workshop class.  One of the dreams I presented to the class was that I wanted to write a book.  All 11 people in the workshop class, to include my own dad, looked at me like I was nuts. They thought I was not going to do it, and it was their disbelief that gave me the motivation to publish my first book, "I win".I look at some of the greatest experiences in my life: the first person with CP to write and publish a book and the first person with CP to compete in the Kona Iron Man, and I still have a burning passion to do more to inspire others.

I'm currently writing another book and my highest aspiration is to be a living example that there are no limitations for those with dreams.

There are no comments yet.