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What Happens When You Are Not What They Expect?

Wheelchair Dad Rolls Over Stereotypes While Raising His Two Wonderful Sons With His Amazing Wife

Can a man in a wheelchair ever have children? Is it even possible? If so, how does he do it? These are questions that I use to ask myself before I became confined to a wheel chair a

t the ripe age of 22 due to a condition I was born with called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a condition that weakens the muscles, as I get older. When most people see me with my sons, they automatically think they're my little brothers because surely a man in a wheelchair can't have kids right? A stereotype that is all too familiar and very old quite frankly.

When I was younger I felt like no woman would ever love me "like this" due to the condition that I had. It took me a long while to understand the fact that being in a wheelchair doesn't mean that I can't live a normal life just like everyone else. My wife and I first met at a timeshare company we were both working for. We quickly became best friends and then one thing led to the next. (And YES, men in wheelchairs can have sex, and good sex at that I must say!) We saved up money for two years, had a beautiful wedding and got married on 7/7/07. What a lucky man I am right? I'd rather say I am blessed man. We have two amazing sons who we are raising to be great men. Our oldest son is currently in Fire Academy to become a firefighter and our youngest son is a junior in high school. 

Another stereotype that I roll over is that most people think that I don't work because I can't work since I'm in a wheelchair. The truth is I have my own company because I am an International Motivational Speaker and Best-Selling Author of my new book "Don't let Your Struggle Become Your Standard, How To Be Indispensable Even When The Odds Are Stacked Against You."

We've taught both of our sons to never judge a book by its cover because you never know what's inside unless you take a look. We show them that stereotypes are just a divisive tactic that people use to categorize other people because of their lack of understanding. If you don't understand something, then you don't have the right to judge it. I show my boys how to put themselves in other people’s shoes before they make a judgment call. I lead my boys by example. They see me get up every morning and go to work because they are the ones who have to help get me dressed and into my wheelchair on a daily basis. They see me grind everyday for them and their mother and they see that I never let anything stop me from reaching my goals and my dreams. I also spend quality time with my boys and have several man-to-man conversations with them about everything.

This wheelchair doesn't define who I am, and my goal is to not only help my sons but also everyone who I come in contact with to know that their struggles don't have to define them either. In life you can only reach the level of success that you are willing to work for. True success is earned, not given. But then again, they say that if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life.

As a dad it's my job to do everything in my power to train my boys for success, it's not the school systems job, their friends job, and definitely not the worlds job to do it. It starts at home. I'm the leader and I'm making sure I lead them down the right path and that they are equipped and prepared to overcome any struggle, challenge, or stereotype that may come their way.


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