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Disabled people who made a difference

Each and every one of us have our very own ‘disabilities’.  If we are able bodied, we are only set apart from a disabled person when their disability is visible for everyone to see.

It becomes a true inspiration when we read real life stories of people who suffered from physical disabilities- sometimes not because they are born with it but as a result from an accident but have chosen to rise above the adversity. They do not allow their physical disability to limit them on the things they want to do in life. If we learn anything from these inspiring folks, is that we should not let any disabilities, obvious or otherwise stop us from living our lives or achieve our dreams. 

Last Saturday, The Star paper featured some inspiring writeup on real life heros who despite the odds against them, rise to the challenge. The story of Leornard Chua, a young man who had everything in life that he could wish for- good looks, great body and glamorous life of a model.

Till one day, an accident that happened in October 2005 when he was only 24 years old took it all away.

He was paralyzed from the upper chest down and at first, he could not remember anything, he could not speak or write properly.  Initially, he was suicidal but the unconditional love from his parents kept him going on.

He worked hard to rehabilitate  himself. Today, he is a motivational speaker- he inspires and motivates others who are in the same situation by providing a good example. He also runs a company that sells rehabitation products.

He exercises at home everyday. To quote from the article:

I exercise on these equipment every day. I also invented an exercise method which is effective in building abdominial muscles. I lift free weights to build my arm muscles. I also practice yoga and qi gong to relax and improve my breathing.

I noticed that wheelchair bound person often neglects to built the upper body muscles. By strengthening the upper body muscle, the person would be able to lift himself or herself easily and even regain a fair amount of independence. But rehabitation is often expensive and not easily accessible. Even when I look around, I find it difficult to locate a good book that specifically deals with rehab for the disabled. Coupled with the fact that most places are not disabled friendly.

You are read more about the full article in The Star Online (4 Dec 2010) titled Wheeling & able or visit his blog at http://leonardchua.blogspot.com/.

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