Overcoming disability- 3 inspiring stories

1.     They said he'd never walk again

Dan Cummings
   Dan Cummings was only 19 years old when his life changed forever. He broke his neck in an accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. The doctors diagnosed him as quadriplegic and told him that he would never be able to walk again. Instead of accepting their opinion as truth, he was determined to beat the odds and regain his ability to walk.

  He went to physical therapy for 3 years without any remarkable progress. His insurance refused to pay for more. But he refused to give up. He moved to California so he could take part in a much more intensive rehabilitation program called Project Walk, which uses innovative therapies to help patients with spinal cord injuries regain and improve motor skills. After 4 years of hard work, he proved the doctors wrong- with the help of a walker, he could walk again.

  He decided to dedicate his life towards helping others who have also suffered spinal cord injuries. He founded a physical rehabilitation center called Journey Forward to support other patients with spinal cord injuries. And then, 10 years after he got injured, he managed to walk a mile in support of the center, raising $75 000 for the organization. This was all made possible by his remarkable drive and determination to never give up.

2.      A great team player, despite his autism

Jason McElwain
   Jason McElwain didn't talk until he was 5. He was diagnosed as having high functioning autism. Since then, his biggest passion and hobby has been basketball. Considered too small to be on the high school team, he started working as the team manager instead. He was satisfied with his job and was good at it, but his dream was always to play in the team.

  For his very last home game, the coach decided to let him wear the team suit so he could feel like a part of the team. At the end of the game, with only 4 minutes left to play, the coach surprised everybody by calling him onto the court to play in the game! His first 2 shots failed. But for his third, he threw a three pointer at 20 feet. And that was just the beginning.

  He went on to throw 5 more three pointers. At the buzzer, Jason's teammates took him onto their shoulders as the amazed audience gathered around him. In just 4 minutes, he went from a kid with a dream of playing in the team to a hero and a sports celebrity. His inspiring story made the news and in 2006 he won an ESPY award for Best Moment of Sports. Jason also wrote a book about his inspirational story, titled "The Game of My Life".

Dr. Cival Mills
3.        Living life to the fullest with locked-in syndrome 
  At 26 years old, Cival Mills had a great life. He had always been a high achiever, successful in both sports and academics. He had recently earned a medical degree and looked forward to a great future. It all changed on December 8th, 2000.

 Only a couple of days away from finishing his hospital internship, he was driving to go see his girlfriend and got into an accident. When he woke up in the hospital, he found himself unable to move. Even though he was completely conscious, he wasn't able to move any muscle in his body except for his eyes. It was like a nightmare come true.

 Nobody was aware he was conscious until he laughed at a cartoon his sister showed him. He was diagnosed with locked-in syndrome and started learning how to communicate with his eye movements using a spelling chart. His first sentence was "Love you mom". It took him 20 minutes to spell out.

 After 2 years of physical therapy, he regained the ability to move his left thumb. With a gadget he invented himself, he managed to type out his first inspirational book, titled "This Too Shall Pass". He has since also managed to regain movement in his neck, left arm and partial movement in his legs. In 2009, Cival completed a 350- mile bike ride across South Africa on a specially adapted quad bike for charity. He also scuba dives as a hobby and has written another book called "The Truth About Wheels". He is currently working as a motivational speaker. You can find out more about Cival on his website at


Anonymous said...

all stories here are really inspiring,they give lesson that it is more of attitude and will rather than skill which helps us to overcome every small or big tragedy in our lives.

Unknown said...

Dan Cummings inspired me so much. I admire your willpower. Keep your hard work and don't let people tell you what you can't do. I found some more inspirational stories you may also like

Harshavardhan Reddy said...

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Unknown said...

so I'm Marc, I'm 36 and am 8 1/2 years removed from surviving a stroke. like most people would, I became severely depressed but since the end of 2014 I've been getting active (going to the gym/walking miles almost everyday) my mindset now is completely different from before. I never had much of a work ethic before but now through having to work against a physical disability to achieve my fitness goals I've discovered a new person in me that I never knew existed. reading these stories, I see a few parallels between myself and each different story, especially the ones where people overcame a physical disability.

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Steve Berke said...

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SK Sharma said...

My views my drishti provides best thought provoking articles. Real life motivational stories to inspire People by S K writings.

Trikle Trade said...

I found lots of interesting information here. The post was professionally written and I feel like the author has extensive knowledge in this subject.
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Short Stories On Helping Others

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children's advocacy project said...

Inspiration porn. These people accomplished something or live normal lives. We are not here for you to say “well if that loser can do that so can I. That diminishes us both. Value people. And watch Inspiration Porn in Tedtalks.

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