Last night, I watched the documentary "Emmanuel's Gift" narrated by Oprah. It's about a guy--a hot guy no less!--that was born with a badly deformed leg. He is from Ghana, and living with a disability there is an unimaginable challenge. People there who are born and living with disabilities are abandoned, ridiculed, and discriminated against. They do not receive the medical care they need, and will not be hired by most employers, so their only option is to beg. They do not have wheelchairs and must drag themselves or hop around. I was profoundly humbled.
Emmanuel's father abandoned him and his mother when he was born with this disability. His mother, however, gave Emmanuel the encouragement he needed to rise above his disability and create hope for those around him. The story begins with him riding a bicycle across the country pedaling with one leg to demonstrate to others that having a disability does not limit a person's achievements. As one person in the film states: Emmanuel's goals are not just about today, not about tomorrow, but about the big picture. This summarizes how I feel as well.
I have survived leukemia, a bone marrow transplant, kidney failure and more. I completed two marathons and two century rides with Team in Training to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and to help inspire others. I am humbled as I said by Emmanuel's achievements. I admire him. I would like to do more. I'm not trying to be a star athlete, but I'd like to help brighten the sky for others who struggle. It hasn't quite all come together, but the motivation and determination are within me. That's why my next project is to display my art here at The Avant Garde @ 2434 and give half the proceeds away. I will create a list of causes that I care about, and will include one related to what I observed in this film. I will allow purchasers to choose where they would like to donate 1/2 too, either choosing from the list I provide, or giving me the information on a charity of their choice. Even this doesn't seem like enough for me. But it's another step in the direction that I choose to travel.
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