International Motivational Speaker
A few days before the launch event, I had the honor to meet Principal Secretary for Coordination and Presidency in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government Josephta O. Mukobe. She's an amazing woman who not only has short stature but also has no hands. Despite her condition, she has been appointed to number two highest position Kenya. This proves that although Kenya may be a developing country, it already appears to be more sensitive on disability concerns than the developed countries.
I would take annual checkup trips from Boston to Baltimore, where Dr. Kopits practiced medicine, when I was six months until I was sixteen, and then he said he no longer needed to see me. He performed two surgeries on my legs.
One, when I was three where he removed part of the fibulas from both of my legs in order to fix my bowed legs. Then when I was thirteen, about the time when I was at my peak growth, he removed bone from my pelvis and inserted it in my legs, where bone was first removed when I was three. At age 15, Dr. Benjamin Carson, an internationally acclaimed neurosurgeon, performed a laminectomy on my back. He successfully removed pieces of seven vertebrae in order to relieve spinal cord compression. I haven’t had any medical problems since. I would not be in the healthy condition that I’m in now if I had grown up in Africa. I hope that we can help provide more medical options for the people with dwarfism there.
On November 9th, I received a message from a woman who resides in South Africa. She said, “I wish I can have your confidence.” From that point forward, I knew what I wanted my goal for my speech in Kenya to be. I wanted to help instill confidence in each and every one of the 900 members. Following a morning show interview in Kenya, we received an amazing note from a viewer, who may or may not be a little person. It said, “I am a student
Creating Possibilities in Kenya-con't
and today I saw you being interviewed and I liked your courage. Thanks to you people, I had lost hope in life but after I saw you, I gained my future back.” Receiving this message proved how powerful of an influence media has on society.
With the help of the media, we were able to influence lives beyond the city of Nairobi. The organization began recruiting members through shows on television as well.
They began their quest for finding members in August of 2013 and now have recruited over 1,200 people to join their organization. I’m extremely proud of their efforts. I will continue to serve as an ambassador for their organization. It’s a group of incredible human beings who just want opportunity. I plan to continue to give them hope.
Coming away from this trip, I learned to truly appreciate what I have more. Most of the people who I met in Kenya have never left the country. They don’t know what else is out there and they still manage to appreciate the little that they have. In addition to serving the people of Kenya, I hope to continue to be a resource for little people throughout the United States and around the world. Often times I’m asked to visit a school to which a little person will be transitioning. I plan a walk through with the administrators to discuss the necessary accommodations followed by a speech. My speeches help put the school environment at ease, in order for them to be prepared for a little person to enter their school. I encourage them to ask me any question that may be on their mind with the hopes that they can understand how we’re still people, just short. Please contact me if you need a helping hand. I’ve traveled across the world and will travel anywhere to help make life easier for the next generation of little people. Everyone deserves a chance and I’ve always believed that anything is possible for everyone. Let’s continue to make a difference together.