When I first received the news about Super Mighty Max’s Cerebral Palsy diagnosis, it shook me to my core. While I was expecting it, I wasn’t expecting him to be diagnosed on that day, so for me, it was a shocking surprise. So, immediately I reached out to my brother-friend in Providence, RI who’s a pediatric resident at Brown University hospital.
If I’m honest, I was expecting him to have pity on my wife and I, to empathize with us, but he didn’t. Instead, he empowered me to not allow Super Mighty Max’s SITUATION DETERMINE HIS DESTINATION. He did this by sending me a website called Disabled World, which includes the stories of famous folks with disabilities. He did this not to say that Super Mighty Max was going to be famous one day, but to let me know, life is not over for Super Mighty Max, he can still have a great quality of life!
As parents of our super, mighty, and blessed children, we need to always remember, that our children have a lot of promise and potential, despite their special need or disability.
In closing, I’ll leave you with a few people who’ve been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, who’ve made their lives count.
- Nicolas Hamilton – Nicolas faces a greater challenge than most in trying to break into the ultra-competitive world of motor racing because he has cerebral palsy – a condition which leads to severe problems with movement, posture and co-ordination. Nicolas Hamilton is an inspiration to others. “Nic’s always been very determined,” his mum Linda, step-mother to Lewis said. “We’ve not wrapped him in cotton wool. He’s gone on and done things for himself. He’ll just push and push and he’ll achieve what he wants to achieve.” Despite his hectic schedule, Nic recently found time to join the Disabled Motoring UK team on an epic profile raising challenge, driving from the UK, through France, across the Alps, and back again in a 1932 Argson, 2 stroke, mobility trike.
- Abbey Nicole Curran – (born 1987) – Abbey Curran represented Iowa at the Miss USA 2008 pageant in Las Vegas, held on April 11, 2008. Curran was born with Cerebral Palsy. She and has made an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, CBS The Early Show, Inside Edition, Access Hollywood, Extra, and CNN Headline News. Curran is the current chairman of her own non-profit pageant “The Miss You Can Do It Pageant” for young girls and women with special needs and challenges. Diagnosed at age 2, Abbey Curran wants other girls like her to know they can compete like anyone else.
- Bonner Paddock – Born with Cerebral Palsy, Bonner Paddock lived his early years playing sports as if he didn’t have a disability at all. He was not accurately diagnosed until the age of 11, and even received news he not might make to his 20th birthday. As an adult with cerebral palsy, he became the first person with Cerebral Palsy to reach the summit of the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, Mt. Kilimanjaro, unassisted, to demonstrate that life without limits is possible. This achievement was documented in the film Beyond Limits, narrated by Michael Clarke Duncan in 2009. Bonner tackled the climb with the determination and vigor that has defined his life. OM Foundation (OMF) is the progression of Bonner Paddock’s overall mission, which had little to do with individual success and everything to do with aiding others in constructing the first learning center to serve children with and without disabilities in Orange County and across the globe – http://1man1mission.org
- Dr. Janice Brunstrom – Pediatric neurologist specializing in Cerebral Palsy at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University. She is the only pediatric neurologist in the U.S. who also has Cerebral Palsy, and she is one of the leading scientists in CP research. She started and leads the only comprehensive pediatric CP Center in the country. One of her causes includes correcting common misconceptions about cerebral palsy including the following: Cerebral palsy is hopeless; Cerebral palsy means low intelligence; Children with cerebral palsy do not need to stand; Strengthening their spastic muscles will make them worse; and Physicians cannot do anything about these children’s vision problems.
- Jerry Traylor – A motivational speaker with cerebral palsy. He is the only person to jog across America on crutches. Traylor underwent 14 corrective surgeries and spent nearly a year in the hospital when he was 6 years old. When crutches replaced the braces holding his legs at age 14, Traylor said he experienced a sense of freedom that was unbelievable. Traylor has also participated in the running of 35 marathons, climbed to the top of 14,110 foot Pike’s Peak, parachuting and other adventures.
- Michael Kutcher- Kutcher, who has cerebral palsy, is an avowed political junkie. By age three, Michael battled significant developmental delays due to his neurological issues. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy before he entered school. Despite the odds, Michael graduated from Clear Creek Amana High School, alongside his twin brother. In 2010, Michael began to follow his passion for CP advocacy supporting CP specific research and awareness for “Reaching For Stars”. His signature ability to succeed is evident in his recent work with “Reaching for the Stars” raising political awareness on Capitol Hill, fund raising on a national and local level, and speaking on behalf of RFTS at various events including the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
- Roy Frank “RJ” Mitte III – (born August 21, 1992) – An American actor. He is best known for his role as Walter White Jr. on the AMC television series, Breaking Bad. In 2006 RJ Mitte moved to Hollywood and began training with personal talent manager Addison Witt. RJ has mild cerebral palsy. Addison states that it was RJ’s diligence and attitude that has helped him overcome challenges in all areas of his life.
One of the most widely sung hymns in the African-American church tradition, has to be Blessed Assurance, at least it is at most of the churches I’ve been a part of. In my opinion, it’s such a powerful song, mainly because of the lyrics in the refrain. Song says,“This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long.”
So, here’s what stands out to me, WE ALL HAVE A STORY! WE ALL HAVE A SONG! My story may not be your story, and my song may not be your song; but it’s my story and it’s my song! You ask me, “well, what’s a story and a song?” For me, the story is made up of our experiences, hopes, hurts, trials, tribulations, and testimonies in life. Our song, are the words of praise and thanksgiving, for making it through what we experienced. Watch this, even if we’re still in the storm, we sing a song because we know we’re coming out of the storm.
What’s the point of all this?
As men and women who have the opportunity to parent, super, mighty, and blessed children with special needs and disabilities, at some point we need to ACCEPT our story!!!!!!! Accept the fact, that your child has Cerebral Palsy! Accept the fact, that your child has Autism! Accept the fact, that your child has Down Syndrome! Accept the fact, that your child has ADHD! Accept the fact, that your child has Cystic Fibrosis! Accept the fact, that your child has Dyslexia! Accept the fact, that your child is Hearing Impaired! Accept the fact, that your child has Seizure Disorders! Accept the fact, that your child has……..!!! I’m sure by now, you get the idea. We can accept our story, because it’s our story, and it won’t change unless it’s God’s Will for it to change! At the same time, if it’s NOT God’s Will for our story to change, life won’t get better, until we accept our story!
The Good News is, once we accept our story, God will then reveal to us ways for us to find empowerment, purpose, destiny, mission, peace, and praise in our story. Then after we’re feeling empowered, purposed, destined, on mission, and peaceful, we’re now ready to sing our song of praise!
Yes, my child has Cerebral Palsy, but they’re still Super, Mighty, and Blessed!
Yes, my child has Autism, but they’re still Super, Mighty, and Blessed!
Yes, my child has Down Syndrome, but they’re still Super, Mighty, and Blessed!
Yes, my child has ADHD, but they’re still Super, Mighty, and Blessed!
Yes, my child has Cystic Fibrosis, but they’re still Super, Mighty, and Blessed!
Yes, my child has Dyslexia, but they’re still Super, Mighty, and Blessed!
Yes, my child is Hearing Impaired, but they’re still Super, Mighty, and Blessed!
Yes, my child has a Seizure Disorder, but they’re still Super, Mighty, and Blessed!
This is my song, this is my story, I’ll be praising all the day long about my child who is still Super, Mighty, and Blessed!
Love, Peace, and Blessings,