8 Extraordinary People With Disabilities

8:00 pm 30 Jan, 2014

The words ‘disabled’, ‘differently abled’, ‘physically challenged’ etc. direct our attention towards people who lack the physical ability to be able to do things in some way or the other. These people usually generate a sense of sympathy, awe and pity in the hearts of other people. However, it is not necessary that they need any of that. There are many well known people suffering from a disability that have proven to the world that they are in no way inferior to the rest and that they deserve to hold the same status as the rest in the society. What they really need is empathy and not sympathy. Let’s look at a few such people who have made it big in different aspects of life.

8. Marla Runyan

Runyan was nine years old when she was struck by macular degeneration in the form of Stargardt’s Disease, which lead her to be legally blind. However, her disability did not stop her from being the three time national champion in the women’s 5000 meters race. Besides that, she was awarded with a lot of other medals including 4 gold medals in the 1992 summer Paralympics, a silver medal in shot put and a gold medal in Pentathlon in the 1996 Paralympics. In the year 2000, she became the first Paralympian to compete in the Olympic Games that were held in Sydney, Australia. After all these achievements, she went on to co-write and publish her autobiography ‘No Finish Line: My Life as I See It’ in the year 2001.

8 Extraordinary People With Disabilities

7. Sudha Chandran

Sudha was born in the city of Chennai, India. She went on to pursue her Masters degree in Economics in Mumbai. On one of her trips back to Chennai from Mumbai, she met with a serious accident which lead to the amputation of her right leg. Despite the tragedy, her love for dancing did not fade away and she continued to dance with the help of an artificial leg and went on to becoming an accomplished and successful personality in India as well as abroad. She has received several awards in the past years and continues to achieve more and more with time. Furthermore, she is invited to perform at various events worldwide and is treated with immense respect and honor.

8 Extraordinary People With Disabilities

6. Frida Kahlo

Frida was a renowned painter from Mexico who suffered from Polio. She was famous for creating self-portraits that mostly mirrored her pain and agony. Her paintings consisted of a lot of vibrant colors inspired by the various cultures of Mexico. She came to be the first Mexican artist in the 20th century whose work was acknowledged and purchased by an international museum. Kahlo used long colorful skirts to disguise her disability from the world.

8 Extraordinary People With Disabilities

5. Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent suffered from a mental illness. He was a painter by profession and was known to be one of the best in the league across the world. It is said that his paintings played an important role in the foundation of modern art. He made about 1100 drawings and 900 paintings in his 10 year career of a painter and a few of his creations are known to be the most expensive ones in today’s time. He suffered with sever depression that led him to shoot himself in the chest. His last words were ‘The sadness will last forever’.


8 Extraordinary People With Disabilities

4. Ludwig Van Beethoven

Beethoven was a very well known personality in the music field. He was regarded as one of the leading composers in history. He made his first public performance as a pianist at the age of 8 and was a star by the time he reached his mid-twenties. In the year 1976, Beethoven began losing his hearing power. However, this did not stop him from pursuing his passion. He was famous for his unpredictable improvisations during his piano performances. Beethoven was awarded with many titles during his career despite of being completely deaf for about 25 years of his life span.

8 Extraordinary People With Disabilities

3. Christy Brown

Christy was an Irish poet, painter and author who suffered from cerebral palsy that resulted in him being incapable to move or speak for years. Doctors suspected him to be intellectually incapable as well. His foot responded to his will and showed movement when he was 5 years old, which is also how he communicated with people. He was most famous for his conscious technique that reflected in his work and also for his autobiography ‘My Left Foot’, which was known to be the greatest Irish novel.

8 Extraordinary People With Disabilities

2. John Nash

John Nash was a famous mathematician and scientist who suffered from Schizophrenia, making him believe that there was an organization chasing him. His work in partial differential equations, differential geometry and game theory are most appreciated out of all his work. John was very different from the kids of his age as when the rest wanted to play ball, he wanted to work on scientific experiments in his room. This was where his love for math’s and science blossomed. He was awarded with many tittles and awards such as the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in the year 1994 and many more. His work was recognized to an extent that the movie that was loosely based on his biography won an Academy award for it.

8 Extraordinary People With Disabilities

1. Jean-Domnique Bauby

Jean-Do was a French journalist, an author and the editor of the French fashion magazine ELLE. He had a sever heart attack which resulted in him being in coma for 20 days. After his recovery from coma, doctors discovered that Jean had contracted a rare neurological disease called the locked up syndrome which leads a person’s body to be paralyzed from head to toe except that their mind functions efficiently. Despite this tragedy, Jean managed to write a book called ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’ by blinking his left eyelid (which was the only organ that functioned in his body then) on the right alphabet which was being repeated by a person. The book turned out to be a huge success. However, Jean sadly died 2 days after his book was published.

8 Extraordinary People With Disabilities

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