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Maintaining Mobility - Fame and Strength in Misfortune

Tracy Morgan Hurt in Deadly Accident

In June 2014, Tracy Morgan, comedian for Saturday Night Live and versatile actor, was in a car accident. A tractor trailer swung into the vehicle he was in, causing one death and multiple injuries. Morgan’s injuries have prevented him from walking over the last few months. It is uncertain how long these effects will last, but Morgan has been struggling to make a full recovery.

Morgan’s recent injuries reminded us of other famous people, past and present, in wheelchairs. Their efforts have brought encouragement to all of us. Through their hard work and passion, they show everyone that limited mobility doesn't have to limit your life.FDR Wheelchair

Franklin D. Roosevelt - President

Franklin D. Roosevelt, the president who pulled the United States out of The Great Depression and participated in World War I, performed many of his duties from a wheelchair. Prior to his presidency, he contracted an illness that led to paralysis from the waist down. While many speculate on the precise nature of his disease, the onset was fast. Afterwards FDR never walked without the aid of heavy iron leg braces. He taught himself to move this way, developing his upper body muscles to a point where he could maneuver his body weight by pulling and swinging himself forward. He delivered speeches by bracing himself against the lectern.

Frida Kahlo ArtistFrida Kahlo - Artist

Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter best known for her self portraits in the 1900s, also struggled with illnesses and injuries that prevented her from moving without assistance. These began when she was in a bus accident as a teenager. While Frida’s health issues were impermanent, many surgeries and complications reoccurred throughout her life. She often painted her best works while lying in bed, unable to move the lower half of her body.

Ralph Braun  - Inventor

Ralph Braun is a more recent example of a famous person in a wheelchair. At fourteen Braun began using a wheelchair because of his muscular dystrophy. Within a year, he had invented a motorized wagon with his father to help him move more easily. By the time he was twenty years old, Braun had invented a motorized scooter with parts he found on a relative’s farm. For a while he drove this scooter to his job as a Quality Control Manager, but when the facility moved further away, Braun decided he needed to invent something else to get himself there. He converted a van into a scooter accessible vehicle. Soon, other people with disabilities began hearing about his machines and asking him to build more. Braun converted and sold his inventions from his parents’ garage until there were too many orders. He then quit his job and began selling his machines full time.

Sudha Chandran DancerSudha Chandran - Dancer

Sudha Chandran is another contemporary example of a celebrity who has persevered through mobility issues. Before she was twenty years old, Chandran developed an infection in her leg that resulted in amputation. Through the use of a prosthetic foot, Chandran slowly learned to move again, and then to dance. As she began to dance throughout her home country of India, she gained fame and honor. She traveled the world, dancing and winning awards for her performances.

There are many, any examples of strong, gracious people who have contributed so much to the world, despite the limitations they dealt with.  Some limitations are physical, some are not, regardless of the limitations, watch the video, and be inspired to change your world in some way!

All these people went through different health issues and responded in unique ways. They grew through difficulties and become stronger. Their disabilities resulted in a greater creativity to overcome obstacles and a determination to achieve great things.

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