Whether you were born with a disability or developed one over time, it’s important to know that you are not disabled, you are simply differently-abled. While it may seem like you have a list of things you cannot do, here is a look at some people in the spotlight who have overcome disabilities that could have stopped them from reaching their dreams. The difference in making it and not making it was their determination.
Congenital amputation is the term used to describe someone who was born without limbs. MMA fighter Kyle Maynard was born as a quadruple amputee, but he and his family decided early to refuse to let that hinder him from pursuing his potential. When Maynard was 2 years old, his father decided the family would no longer help him eat, but he was going to learn to take care of himself. It’s hard to believe his father expected him to become the first quadruple amputee to climb Mount Kilimanjaro without prosthetics but that’s exactly what Kyle did.
World-renowned mathematician John Nash overcame schizophrenia to become one of the faces of academia. The inspiration behind the movie “A Beautiful Mind,” Nash talks openly about how he was able to come out of a place of irrational thinking without the use of medication. Nash managed to defeat a disorder that sought to destroy his mind and become one of the greatest thinkers of his time.
You would think that dyslexia would make reading countless scripts a nightmare for any actor or actress, but Keira Knightly has overcome the learning disorder to become one of Hollywood’s top starlets. Instead of letting dyslexia hinder her from pursuing her acting dreams, Knightly says that she used her desire to be an actress to overcome her disorder because she had to beat it to be able to act.
The extroverted host of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Ty Pennington is very open and honest about his battle with ADHD. Before Pennington was the host of the show he worked as a successful carpenter, even entering the world of television on shows like Trading Spaces where he would build custom furniture pieces with incredibly short notice.
Your diagnoses are not something that is meant to stop you from pursuing your dreams. It is simply a part of the story you can tell when you reach a place of success.
This blog was originally published on Russ Ewell’s website.