By Christa Goodwin
Friday night, November 14th, was a big night for many people, myself included. Foley High School dominated the football field against Fairhope High School, and my little family met someone who has completely revolutionized the way many people view life. Before I introduce this amazing man to you, you have to understand where my family is.
Almost nine years ago, my daughter was born. Through completely unforeseen circumstances, she was born with a condition called Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS). Because of this, she has only one hand. Many of you have either met my daughter, Kendall Rose, or you have seen pictures. Nothing stops her in life, but it has been a journey to get here.
Being different from everyone else is something everyone worries about at some point in their life. At her birth, though, none of those differences seemed as relevant to me. I worried about everything with my daughter. Her appearance, her development, and even her ability to make friends. Most of these were valid at the time, but now I look back and laugh because I worried for nothing. She is strong and has a sassy attitude (no idea where that comes from.)
Because of her difference, my husband and I have used every avenue to help her meet people who inspire and encourage. Many of these have been found through social media such as Facebook. Kendall has met Winter the dolphin in Clearwater, Florida; Rion Paige, who was on the Voice; and numerous other people who have inspired and encouraged us.
There has always been one person I have on my own personal “bucket list” for Kendall to meet. His name is Nick Vujicic and he is from Australia. His story is one that will make even the toughest of people turn to a hopeless puddle of mush. At his birth, his parents were amazed and horrified that he was born with no limbs whatsoever. He was diagnosed with a condition that is extremely rare, but like my daughter, he did not let it define him. Throughout his lifetime, he has travelled the world and inspired many with his message of hope.
My husband and I have always talked about how amazing it would be for Kendall to see this man in person. Last Friday night, we did. While many were cheering on the Foley Lions, we were cheering on Nick.
It was a moment in my life that will define how I view the rest of my life. I have a picture, but I also got to give a hug to an amazing man who has shown my daughter and others just like her what it means to overcome something that many see as a disability.
Throughout our lifetime, we need to remember that who we are should last forever. Nick has shown my daughter that.