We all want to be unique in this world, don’t we? We all want to not fit into a crowd and yet find a few kindred spirits who truly share our joy.
Well how would you feel if you were just that: if you had a disease that debilitates you like no other, and that you are one of only seven individuals who have it?
Nick Vujicic, is an Australian evangelist; a preacher and motivational speaker. There are just seven individuals all around the world who know what it feels like to carry his burden.
Nick is one the people who suffer from tetra-amelia syndrome, also called phocomelia. This means he was born with no arms or legs. He has stumps of two tiny legs, one of which he calls his “chick drumstick” with a smile on his beautiful face.
Nick stands and speaks with his head held high, at a height of 3’3”. But that is not a disability to him at all.
Originating from Serbia, Nick was born with the rare disease and it took his mother time before she accepted him and his condition, as “God’s plan”.
What’s more, Nick had to undergo surgery as a child to separate the toes of his “drumstick”, so that he could use the toes as fingers for grabbing things, turning pages of books etc… things that you or I take for granted.
Things never went too good for Nick as a child as one might assume; despite calling his childhood ordinary, he did try to commit suicide thanks to bullying at school.
He was shown a newspaper article about a person who overcame severe disability. That was the epiphany little Nick needed: he started talking at his prayer group. He would go on to graduate from college with not one, but two commerce majors, accountancy and financial planning, from Griffith University.
Don’t think he stopped there.
He went on to find his own NPO, called ‘Life without limbs’ which also doubled as a ministry, in 2005. The entrepreneur also opened another secular motivational speaking company called ‘Attitude is Altitude’ two years later.
He has also won an award (Best actor in a short film) for acting in the short film called the Butterfly Circus, after the short film was screened at the 2010 Method Fest Independent Film Festival.
After moving to the US, he also married, and is now the father of four children.
His list of publications would give any author a run for his money, having books that have been published by names as big as Random House.
Leaving his achievements behind, you would think his social and personal free-times are dull. Well, think again.
He quips about loving soccer and often gets out on the field too. He sails boats, dextrously using his toes to control the rudder, and also swims at pools.
To quote him, he just stopped concentrating on the things he “didn’t have” and concentrated on the things he did have.
He simply lives with those, happy, successful and eager to inspire the crowds of “whole”people understand their wholeness and their blessings in life.
We need more people like this individual!