Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

12,000 Ottawa students smother record in hugs

July 9, 2008

Thousands of students from 10 Ottawa high schools think they may have squeezed into the Guinness Book of World Records with the world’s biggest bear hug.

Organizer Peter Lamothe, who works at St. Matthew Catholic High School, estimated that 12,000 students, teachers and parent volunteers took part in a gargantuan group embrace Friday as part of an effort to raise more than $150,000 for the Ottawa Hospital Foundation, the CHEO Foundation and the Ottawa Senators Foundation.

Byron Shaw, a student at St. Matthew who raised $1,500 said students won’t know until later whether they actually broke the record, but are hoping they succeeded and had fun in the meantime.

“We felt like connected with everyone else and I was in between two Canadian Mounties — it was pretty cool,” said Shaw, who joined thousands of others to encircle the Rideau Canal from the Pretoria Bridge to the Laurier Bridge. (more…)

A Daughter’s True Love

July 9, 2008

Seven-Year-Old Alexis Goggins Takes Six Bullets to Protect Her Mother. Seliethia Parker always saw her role as protector for her 7-year-old daughter, Alexis Goggins. But it was Alexis who ended up saving her mother’s life by using her little body to shield her mom from a fusillade of bullets.

Doctors told Parker that her heroic little daughter, who was shot six times, would never walk or talk again.

But Alexis has surprised people with her gritty toughness. She’s not only walking and talking, she’s expected to have a full recovery.

“Everybody’s still kind of shocked. This is progressing a little bit more than everybody expected,” Parker said on “Good Morning America” today. “They said she should fully recover.”

Alexis was shot last December when she and her mother were about to get into a car driven by Parker’s female friend. Parker’s former boyfriend, 29-year-old Calvin Tillie, jumped out of nearby bushes and forced his way into the car. (more…)

Sailing instructor inspired by disabled youth

July 2, 2008

About (20) years ago I taught a group of children to sail. They were bright, enthusiastic and as keen to enjoy life as any other child. All however, had a serious disability. Three were in wheelchairs, paralyzed from the waist down. One was nearly blind and had a deformity of his right arm. Two were able to walk with difficulty, afflicted with Cerebral palsy.

The seventh little boy I will never forget. I will call him Matthew. He too had cerebral palsy and was very badly afflicted. His hands and arms were both deformed from the disease and inactivity. His back was bent. His face was distorted and his legs did not work. Even his laughter was a tinkling cough, which racked his body. To speak, Matthew had the help of a letter board. Slowly, and with deliberate determination, he would point out with distorted hands, letter by letter, what he wanted to say. Sometimes he would try to talk. His voice was so distorted that even his constant caretaker could not understand most of his whispered growl. Yet he was always bright and cheerful and loved to try everything his classmates were doing, both in the boat and in the classroom. (more…)

A World Treasure

July 2, 2008

Living in San Agustín Etla is an extraordinary person called Hanni Sager. Hanni is a world treasure. For many years, she’s suffered from muscular dystrophy-a serious and painful disease-and she’s severely disabled by it. But it’s only her body that’s suffering, not her mind and spirit, which are deeply healthy. She’s a model for us all.

Hanni is a passionate woman with a strength that flows from a fountain of good will and common sense. You could call her opinionated: Among her unshakeable convictions is that anyone who doesn’t know how to play isn’t fully human. That a just society will see a meaningful integration of the able and the disabled. That what is false is abominable. (more…)