BJ Miller on Growing Through Accidental Electrocution

Grow Through It: Accidents

As a sophomore at Princeton University, BJ Miller experienced a life-threatening accidental electrocution atop a parked train on campus. Due to the resulting traumatic burns, he lost his left arm below the elbow and both legs below the knee. He faced a torturous recovery and grew through it with the support of family, friends and his medical team. His mother had polio as a child and post-polio syndrome as an adult, so he had a running start on the world of disability. He sees the essence of his experience as a variation on a theme that every human goes through: “You bump up against things you wish were otherwise and you wish you could change, but you just can’t.” He believes that our pain comes from our resistance to change and encourages us to ride the changes, instead of fighting them. And he wants us to embrace vulnerability, as it is natural, essential, important and what links us to each other.

Sarah Vazquez on Growing Through Cerebral Palsy

Grow Through It: Disabilities

Sarah Vazquez, speaker, author, and advocate, describes what it was like growing up with Cerebral Palsy. Through her mother’s innovative care, she learned that the label of disability did not define her. It was her dreams and abilities that did.

Scott Chesney on Growing Through Paralysis

Grow Through It: Disabilities

Scott Chesney, motivational speaker and life coach, tells his story of becoming paralyzed at the age of 15 through a congenital malformation. He believes that disability is an attitude and embraces all that he can still do from his wheelchair.

Sally Alexander on Growing Through Going Blind

Grow Through It: Disabilities

Sally Alexander, children’s book author, describes losing her sight at 26 and growing through it with the support of her family, friends, and training programs. While being blind is difficult, she says that disability can be life-changing and improving, and says she is a better person because of it.

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