This I Believe

AShley - Austintown, Ohio
Entered on May 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Never Say Never

When I was seven, my family was blessed with a baby whom we named Vance. As he grows older so do my beliefs. Through my experiences with my younger brother, I have become a strong believer in “never say never.” My younger brother is visual proof of the “never say never” philosophy.

Vance is no regular child; he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when he was only a year old. Cerebral Palsy is caused by damage to the brain before, at, or shortly after birth. It has been a hardship on my family and me. Vance tries his hardest to be able to do what regular kids do. His dedication to do his best is what keeps me believing that anything is possible. It is hard to see the pain he goes through when he is at therapy. Vance has always been my hero because no matter what he puts a smile on my face. He is a strong person who gives a hundred and ten percent when he is doing something. He always tries his best to accomplish the goals he and his therapist have set.

I remember when I was in the computer room just doing research when he crawled in the room and laid his head on my lap. He asked me why he wasn’t like everyone else. I looked down at him and said “It’s because you’re special. God chose you to be his special project.” I don’t think he really understood what I meant, but he looked up at me and said “ok.” I know that in his heart he wants to be just like all the other kids his age, but I think a part of him likes himself the way he is.

The doctors told us that Vance might not ever be able to walk, but Vance is destined to do it. Every time he goes to therapy he challenges himself to walk with little assistance. He uses a gate trainer so he can walk on his own. He is the reason I believe “never say never.”

There was a time in my freshman year of college that I felt as though I could no longer go through with my schooling. I felt as though I should quit and save myself the embarrassment that would follow if I were to fail any of the courses I was taking. I reminded myself of the time Vance stood in one spot for two minutes. He broke his record by a minute. I told him to sit down, but he told me no. He wanted to break his record so that he could be able to stand just like everyone else. He reminded me to never say I can’t do something. With time and dedication, I can achieve anything I want to accomplish just like Vance.