6 Inspirational Stories of the Physically Challenged | The BridgeMaker

6 Inspirational Stories of the Physically Challenged

By on Dec 30, 2012


Within each of us lies the power of our consent to health and sickness, to riches and poverty, to freedom and to slavery. It is we who control these, and not another. – Richard Bach

How does a person feel when he lost his eyes in an accident or when one of his legs amputated? Would he feel like to end his life to escape from the crises or try to face all the problems that come on his way?

According to the statistics more than one million people in the world commit suicide per year and over thirty thousand of these are said to be from the United States.

Why these people commit suicide? What demoralize them? The surveys says that people commit suicide for different reasons in which most common are financial problems, relationship problems, bullying and stress of work.

These people are trapped in depression and make up their mind that things will never get better, and none can improve the situation. G. B. Shaw said, “Sometimes, people get attached to their burdens more than the burdens are attached to them.

Life gets tough

We all just have to admit that life can sometimes get tough!

Our health may sometimes suffer, family demands demoralize, daily traumas build up and work strains speed up, but it doesn’t mean to feel that the life isn’t worth living. In such situation, we need a dose of inspiration that makes us feel good.

Inspiration brings positive signs and heightens our creativity. In times of insecurity, remind yourself of those who overcame bodily limitations and various obstructions.

Finding inspiration

Here are six inspirational stories of people who, in spite of their physical limitations, participated fully in all aspects of the society. These differently-abled people (I don’t like to say them disable) are not only inspirational to other people having physical problems; but equally inspirational to those of us who feel life is worthless and give up trying when the obstacles come on our way.

  1. One of the world’s best-known overachiever Stephen Hawking who suffers from Motor Neuron Disease became Cambridge’s first Gravitational Physics Professor and received the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics Award at age 35. He has written a best-selling book which was later made into a film called A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes.
  2. A legally blind marathon runner, Marla Runyan became three time national champion in the women’s 5000 meters. In 1992 summer Olympics, she won four gold medals and in 2000 she became the first legally blind Paralympian to compete in the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. She co-wrote and released her autobiography, No Finish Line: My Life As I See It in 2001.
  3. Despite amputation of one leg, Sudha Chandran has become the most talented and acclaimed classical dancer of India. She met with an accident when returning from Mumbai to Chennai resulting in the amputation of her right leg. She was given an artificial leg and in spite of this dreadful disability she established herself in the film line and got a status as a world-class dancer.
  4. An Israeli-American, Itzhak Perlman is a renowned violinist, conductor and teacher who contracted Polio at age four. He uses crutches or an electric wheelchair and plays the violin while seated. He is best known for playing and recording the classical music. He has also played jazz along with the soloists Oscar Peterson and klezmer in their album. In 2000, he received the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton.
  5. Helen Keller was an American prolific author, political activist and lecturer who was the first deaf, mute and blind person honored with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Her teacher Annie Sullivan motivated her to study and helped her to communicate by spelling words into her hand. Helen was born a normal child but at age of 19 months, she got brain fever, leaving her totally deaf and blind. Keller campaigned for women’s suffrage, civil liberties, and communism, as well as many other noble causes.
  6. Jean-Dominique Bauby who was a French journalist, author and editor of the renowned fashion magazine ‘Elle’ experienced Locked-in Syndrome after suffered from a massive stroke but he never admitted defeat. Locked-in Syndrome is a neurological disorder that leaves the body paralyzed from head to toe even though the mind is left unharmed. He was completely speechless but he could blink his left eye and that all he needed to write a book. Despite of this condition he wrote a book ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’ and died two days after the publication of the book.

The people are a few of incredible personalities who have achieved success despite of their physical limitations. These genuinely gutsy people are a great source of inspiration for everyone who worries due to the problems of life and have proved that nothing is impossible when you have the willpower to do it.

At the end, I would like to say anyone who lose all hope and think this is the end should understand that it is just a bend not the end and have faith on God, he will show you the way.

Joyce Diaz is a yoga consultant and freelance writer who sees yoga as a solution to various worldly problems and, therefore, suggests people to include yoga in daily routine and to read yoga books to live a healthy life. She enjoys educating people by publishing inspirational and motivational articles.

  • These are wonderful stories of people who overcame devastating challenges to inspire all of us. I wrote recently about my own personal hero, my foster son Dan, who, in spite of being autistic, was able to adjust, after losing his parents and his home, to life in a new family with such a positive attitude about life. The human spirit is a truly marvelous thing.

    • Joyce Diaz

      Right Galen, human spirit is an incredible thing that is highly capable of achieving
      the impossible especially in the time of great loss.

  • minnz

    I notice the article on Helen Keller is incomplete “Helen was born a normal child but at age.” Is the article pending completion?

    • Joyce Diaz

      Oh yes. There is something missing…here is the complete line…

      Helen was born a normal child but at age of 19 months, she got brain fever, leaving her totally deaf and blind.

      Thanks for reading my article and taking the time to comment.

      • I just edited the post. My apologies, too. I missed that when editing.

  • Let’s “write” our own inspirational stories in the new year! Thanks for the examples here. We can turn them into our own as long as we really believe.

    Happy New Year everyone. 🙂

    • Joyce Diaz

      Your welcome and best wishes for New Year. 🙂

  • This is a great list of five inspirational stories. But I am particularly impressed and very thrilled with the inclusion of Sudha Chandran as a big fan of hers. Thank you Joyce. Very true, that GB Shaw quote: Sometimes, people get attached to their burdens more than the burdens are attached to them.

    Dearest Alex, thank you for the happiness in 2012. Here’s wishing you and your lovely family a superb 2013. And looking forward to our continued interaction.

    Much love. Vidya

    • Joyce Diaz

      Thanks for your nice comment, Vidya. 🙂

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