It takes only one person, one decision to change your life forever.
If you are lucky, like me, you will be surrounded by a loving family and individuals who have a sense of community. The support we receive along the way helps enable us to reach our potential and for some, become outstanding people.
In my life, after my accident, two individuals stand out; my swim coach, Kathy Koss and my climbing mentor, Bill Sumner. Kathy and Bill believed in me and provided the opportunities I needed to realize my dreams. I learned to be an adventurous, strong woman who understood the importance of questioning everything with a critical eye. I still use the same principals Bill uses to innovate and field test. He feels great designs, simplified and extensively field-tested (to the level you could trust your life using) results in reliable innovative equipment. Kerith and I also feel merging foam and function, beautiful designs that works best to support the body and beautiful are a must when designing SideStix.
Our AOM, Tameru Zegeye, born disabled in the countryside of Ethiopia, was saved by two key people in his life, his grandfather and Dr. Morris, a volunteer orthopedic surgeon from the USA. As the African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child”. Tameru, is living proof to this proverb, as I.
Tameru’s grandfather believed every person has a right to two things…a life and a dream. Unable to walk, his grandfather put Tameru on a horse, as he now tells “which became my legs!” Tameru was given the responsibility of looking after the sheep and goats on his grandfather’s estate.
His Special Person
Having a job and the ability to contribute to his family made all the difference in his outlook and potential. Tameru made his way to in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to seek out medical care and an education. Dr. Morris, a volunteer physician from the USA, met Tamerus through a christian organization and provided the necessary operation to straighten Tameru’s feet so he could walk on crutches.
Tameru started first grade at 15 and learn to get proficient on crutches. With an education and mobility, he began to dream big. His desire, to set a Guinness World Book of Record and he felt he could do this on SideStix. Tameru has set three records since getting his SideStix and we are very proud of him. He now dreams one day to perform with Cirque du Soleil.
For Tameru, the most important things in life are to be grateful, spiritual and believe in yourself. He hopes to be the role model, and perhaps key person to other disabled people in Africa and beyond, who have a dream.
Are there reasons you meet certain people in your life? I think so. Perhaps its when we know we need to change the course of our life to grow. Or, perhaps we realize we can change someone else’s life for the better. I know my life has been blessed with a great family, a tremendous community in Taunton, MA and key people who continue to help me grow.
Who are the key people in your life? What was that moment that changed your life for ever?
I feel that it really does take a village to raise a person to become whole, and to realize their potential but it takes just one person, one decision, to see everything differently.
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