Posted by: altmike | September 28, 2012

From the Beginning

In order to truly connect with my followers I felt like this would be a good opportunity to give a little more background into my story.  As I said, I was born with a birth defect called amniotic band syndrome (ABS).  I’m not a doctor, but from my understanding it is where the sac inside the placenta breaks during pregnancy and little bands are released and grab onto any limb they can and then restrict circulation. When that happens, it stunts the growth of whatever it grabbed onto. In my case, it was my fingers.  I have only my thumb and pinky on each hand that are full fingers, the rest are only partial.

After I was born, my parents had a choice to make regarding surgery. Keep in mind that medical surgeries in 1989 were nowhere near as advanced as they are today. As the story goes, only being a months old, a sat in front of a doctor and in front of me he dropped a piece of string. Without hesitation I reached up and grabbed it out of midair. Once the doctor saw me do that he told my parent that I should be just fine, however I would struggle with the monkey bars and sports in general if I could even do them at all.  They chose to not do any surgery’s and to just to support me and let me grow up as normal as possible. I am thankful every day for that decision.

I am not going to lie to you; it was definitely tough at times. Did I question that decision at different points in my life? Of course, who wouldn’t? But as I got older, even in elementary school and middle school, I realized that I was given a gift, not a curse. I knew that I was the only one that could choose my own destiny and that other people perceptions of me would be based on my action and my character alone. I refused to let my hands define who I was. I was Mike, who happens to have a birth defect. Not the guy with the birth defect, who happens to be named Mike. Anytime someone would question me, I would do my best not to shy away. I would stand tall, tell them what happened and then show them what I could do.

What I have learned most is that we only stay within a stereotype if we choose to do nothing about it. Kids struggle everyday with issues like weight, acne, family’s economic issues and social pressures, just to name a few. However, if we stand up for who we are and most importantly be proud of who we are, then we disallow our issues to define us as human beings. No one person is perfect and some peoples “imperfections” are easier to see then others. But we are all beautiful people with infinite potential and to tap into that potential, we have to love and accept ourselves for who we are.

Can’t is not an Excuse

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Responses

  1. That was a great read. Nicely written, my friend! I love the wording and methods you used to convey your point. Can’t wait for the next!

    • Lane, thank you so much my friend!


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