As a pastor/preacher, I pride myself in heralding the Good News of Jesus Christ! In fact, I’m sure in almost all of my sermons, I say something to the effect of, “the Good News is.” When people come to church on Sunday, I want them to know that in spite of what they’re going through, there is Good News. I try my best to preach about faith, hope, trust, praising God in advance, and all the other wonderful virtues that the Gospel of Christ entails. Not only do I preach the Good News, I try to believe and live out the Good News for myself– you know, take my own medicine.
However, there are times in life when the bad news of life, tries its best to choke out the Good/good news in life. In life, when it seems as if all you’ve received is bad news, time after time, it’s extremely hard to receive good news. In fact, when all you’re used to hearing is bad news, the bad news seems to be more palatable to your heart, mind, and spirit.
How do I know this? Because in my own experience, parenthood has at times, been nothing but a blizzard of bad news. Losing 1 child, then another child, then having a child with special needs/disabilities, and then not being able to have more children with my wife (except through surrogacy and/or adoption) has been a rough journey. As some of you may know, parenting Super Mighty Max has come with its share of trials, tribulations, tears, and terrifying news. In my opinion, no one in their right mind likes to hear bad news. Bad news breaks hearts! Bad news can divide families. Bad news can make you act out of character. Bad news will cause emotions to erupt. Bad news can make you doubt God. That’s the truth about bad news!
The lie about bad news is, all news, ain’t bad news and despite what you’ve experienced in the past, everything won’t turn out bad! For me, this is birthed out of my experience with Super Mighty Max; who has been battling with seizures over the past 14-months. Over that time period, we’ve tried numerous seizure medications, and research says once you’ve unsuccessfully tried two anti-seizure medications, the chances of being seizure free is very unlikely!
Well, instead of trying another seizure medication on Super Mighty Max, in December we put him on the Ketogenic Diet, which is a high fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet. During his first 30 days of being on the diet, my wife and I still noticed seizures and wondered if this diet would actually work for him. That was the first 30 days! The Good News is, for the past 2 1/2 weeks, we can probably count on one hand how many seizures we’ve seen! Super Mighty Max has gone from having multiple seizures an hour to not having any visible seizures on some days, at all. This is wonderful new! For Super Mighty Max, not having any seizure could be a total game-changer in his development! Again, this is Good News, because it allows us to hope, believe, and have faith in different possibilities for our son!
Today, I’m grateful for the lie about bad news and the truth about Good News! The Good News is, no matter what it looks like, God is in control! The Good News is, no matter what we encounter, God is in the situation with us! The Good News is, no matter what the bad news may be, God can turn it into Good News! The Good News is, whatever the news is, God will sustain! The Good News is, right now, Super Mighty Max has had a dramatic decrease in seizures, and I celebrate that! Will you join me in believing in the Good News???
Stay Super, Make Mighty Moves, Be Blessed,
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.