“I believe that no hardship is too severe to limit your ability to live life to its fullest.”
One phone call is all it takes to dispirit a life. In 2004, my parents received a phone call letting them know that my brother has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, also known as DMD. At the time the alarming words of doctors whirled around my parents, and created a storm of confusion. All they could focus on was the fact that their beloved four year old son was cursed with a disease that left them with no hope of a long, healthy life for their son. Duchenne is 100% fatal, and threatens death by the age of 25. It is an evil intruder that disintegrates muscles and demolishes the body’s functions. These stark facts struck like destructive lightning. Once the uproar passed, my parents had a epiphany. They decided to use their frustration as fuel to build a powerful engine that would conquer DMD. At first my parents were devastated when they were dealt one of life’s most depressing hardships, the notion that they would loose a child. However, they turned this privation into incentive to live their life with no regrets.
The severe nature of Duchenne has the power to wreck my brothers life. His ability to play sports, run around, even open open the car door or walk a few steps has been robbed from him. Although this illness has created countless opportunities for Charley to sit in his room and cry “woe is me”, he defies these expected grievances. Every day, Charley lives life like there is no tomorrow and there was no yesterday. He continues to find ways to pursue his passions in life and shatter all stereotypes. At Charley’s recent high school graduation he walked across the stage to receive his diploma, a moment that warmed the hearts of everyone watching. In the upcoming fall Charley will be attending NYU, his dream school that he put countless hours of effort and dedication into. The living conditions of my parents and my brother may not be prime, but they still continue to amaze me everyday with their inspiring efforts to live life to its fullest.
You don’t have to be struck with an illness to be put down. Some hardships are more severe than others, but everyone faces obstacles that can get in the way of living life to its fullest. Some little things like a bad grade on a math test, letting in a goal during a PK shoot out, flubbing your only solo during the band concert, or getting in a massive fight with your parents, can be disheartening. These life hurdles can leave you with a desire to do nothing but lay in bed and pout. But -- take it from Charley, who put DMD in its place -- this one bad grade, this one mess up, this one fight does not define who you are, and it certainty does not put a limit on your ability to live life.
Here are a few other I Believe statements...
RB: I believe family and friends are important things to have in life.
IF: I believe that even through hardships, anything is possible.
SG: I believe in equality for everyone.
KW: I believe we should have gender-neutral bathrooms.
AA: I believe those who face adversity come out the other end stronger.
HL: I believe everyone has a purpose.