Submitted by Lauren
My brother, Tom, was born with cerebral palsy. He has always had to work 100 times harder than anyone else to get through tasks. He has always needed to accept support from others for care and to look after his needs, but has not once has he EVER complained about this. Eight years ago, he had a massive operation on his twisted spine and pelvis. He was stuck in a nearly full-body cast for nine months and couldn’t bend in the middle. He never complained. Five years ago, he became extremely ill and nearly died with a brain infection. This took away much of what he’d spent years working on; his speech, his mobility, and even his swallowing were mostly gone. He now receives much of his nutrition through a tube in his stomach. It’s a battle he continues to have to fight, but he does so with dignity and with a smile. He is so unbelievably strong, so caring, happy, and wonderful, despite all he has been through. He’s inspirational in the sense that if someone can endure all he has had to and still keep smiling, then we need to take a lesson from his book. He is now on his college’s council committee to help others get their voices heard.