|No arms, no legs - no handicaps|
|Written by Editor|
|Thursday, 08 March 2012 19:53|
Brett Eastburn opens a can of soda, his way.
By MICHAEL SHANNON
Record Herald Writer
TIPP CITY - Tipp City Exempted Village Schools had a unique visitor come encourage them this week that nothing is impossible.
Brett Eastburn was born with Quad-membral Limbs Deficiency, which means he was born without arms or legs. However, Eastburn declares he does not allow his handicap to handicap him. He uses a power wheel chair to move around, but is fully capable of moving without it. His entire message was nothing is impossible with the right work.
“I looked up handicap in the dictionary, and it said: something that will slow you down. Something that will get in your way. It said ‘something’, ‘not someone’,” Eastburn said. “Last time I checked, I was a person, not a thing.”
He explained most Americans fall into what he calls the “baseball theory.” Just like ‘three strikes and you’re out’, he said most people try things about three times, and if it does not work, they give up.
“If we don’t quit, and try things from different angles, we will accomplish any goal,” Eastburn said.
He challenged everyone in attendance to do this with any obstacle, and they would accomplish anything. Eastburn has several examples of this - he played point guard on a basketball team, halfback on a football team, wrestled and won matches. He went out for Tae Kwon Do and learned how to break boards without hands, or full arms.
Eastburn also went to art school and became an artist. He draws by placing a pen between his jaw and appendage.
Although Eastburn has had to deal with bullying, he said he figured out two things while that was going on. One was that if an individual had a problem with him, it was their problem, not his. Second, he knew that bullies thought it was the only way they could get people to pay attention to them.
He encouraged the students to keep those things in mind when they went though those situations.
He also opened it up to their questions. One student asked how he did his hair.
“In high school I used to put gell in my brush and brush it. Now I found a much easier way: I married a cosmetologist,” Eastburn said.
Another student asked where he got the strength to all that he does.
“Some of you might not agree with me, and that’s okay, but I’m going to tell you so you know how I do it. I was born this way. I believe God made me this way so I could come here and tell you nothing is impossible,” he replied.
He grew up not knowing he was a handicapped child. His parents never told him he was one, so Eastburn explained his attitude was that he was like everyone else and could do the same as everyone else.
“My parents never told me I was handicapped. So I did not know, and I did not stop till I hit Tokyo,” said Eastburn.
He has written a book called I’m not missing anything. You can order it and view other information at his website www.bretteastburn.com.
He is also a comedian. Some of his one liners are:
“People would hesitate to touch me, like if they did their arms and legs would fall off.”
“I was nicknamed ‘the stub’. Still not sure why.”
“I’m the only guy who can draw applause for opening a can of cola.”
“I went out for the football team, until they used me as the ball.”
“I started basketball with my chair, but when some guy tried to block me, and I ran him over the ref said I could no longer use the chair. I hit that kid like a speed bump.”